Barriers to Self-Management in Depressed Women With Type 2 Diabetes

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To describe the impact of family functioning on the self-management of type 2 diabetes (T2DM) and depression in a subsample of women who completed a randomized clinical trial using vitamin D3 (5000 or 50,000 IUs weekly) for depression treatment.


Women are at higher risk for increased severity of T2DM when experiencing depression.


Narrative inquiry was used. A semi-structured interview was conducted to understand helpful strategies and barriers in managing T2DM and depression. In addition, women were asked their meaning of family quality of life (FQOL).


Twenty-one women participated after completion of the six-month final visit in the randomized clinical trial. The mean age was 55.2 years. Participants were 24% Hispanic, 48% African-American, and 52% Caucasian. The major themes generated related to family issues that impacted their self-management, yet participants did not want to “bring fault” to their families. Three themes emerged: (a) experience of family hardships—“it’s been hard for me,” (b) lack of disclosure to family about being depressed—“no point in talking to them,” and (c) the need for connectedness with family and others—“the way it used to be… close as a family.”


Family-centered approaches could address barriers to self-management. A “family lens” for practice and research may improve health outcomes.

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