Assessment of factors affecting diabetes management in the City Changing Diabetes (CCD) study in Tianjin

Objective

This study aimed to identify the local levels of vulnerability among patients with Type-II diabetes (T2DM) in Tianjin. The study was aimed at curbing the rise of T2DM in cities.

Methods

229 participants living with T2DM were purposively sampled from hospitals in Tianjin. Collected data were coded and analysed following well-established thematic analysis principles.

Results

Twelve themes involving 29 factors were associated with diabetes patients’ vulnerability: 1. Financial constraints (Low Income, Unemployment, No Medical Insurance/Low ratio reimbursement); 2. Severity of disease (Appearance of symptoms, complications, co-morbidities, high BMI, poor disease control); 3. Health literacy (No/Low/Wrong knowledge of health literacy); 4. Health beliefs (Perceived diabetes indifferently, Passively Acquire Health Knowledge, Distrust of primary health services); 5. Medical environment (Needs not met by Medical Services); 6. Life restrictions (Daily Life, Occupational Restriction); 7. Lifestyle change (Adhering to traditional or unhealthy diet, Lack of exercise, Low-quality sleep); 8. Time poverty (Healthcare-seeking behaviours were limited by work, Healthcare-seeking behaviours were limited by family issues); 9. Mental Condition (Negative emotions towards diabetes, Negative emotions towards life); 10. Levels of Support (Lack of community support, Lack of support from Friends and Family, Lack of Social Support); 11. Social integration (Low Degree of Integration, Belief in Suffering Alone); 12. Experience of transitions (Diet, Dwelling Environment).

Conclusion

Based on our findings, specific interventions targeting individual patients, family, community and society are needed to improve diabetes control, as well as patients’ mental health care and general living conditions.