Attitudes and dilemmas of caregivers supporting people with intellectual disabilities who have diabetes.Patient Educ Couns 2012; 87(3):383-8PE
To explore how professional caregivers in communal living arrangements support people with a mild or moderate intellectual disability (ID) who have diabetes.
A qualitative study, 13 caregivers participated in semi-structured interviews.
Professional caregiver support in diabetes care is almost solely directed towards administering medication and controlling food intake. Caregivers want to provide person-centered care but are hindered by a conflict between protecting a client's health and at the same time respecting autonomy. None of the caregivers had received training in supporting self-management; their knowledge about diabetes is limited. The few that engaged their client in self-management stressed the importance of a positive and collaborative approach.
This study provides a first insight into the challenges that professional caregivers experience when a client with ID has diabetes. More education for caregivers seems needed. Self-management support is likely to benefit from consensus among caregivers about what comprises person-centered care and self-management in people with ID who have a chronic disease.
Increasing caregivers' awareness of the importance of supporting self-management in people with ID and a chronic disease is essential. Discussing practice examples in the light of existing knowledge about developing autonomy will contribute to their awareness.