The Perceived Impact of Diabetes Support Groups
A dearth o f research exists describing the perceived impact o f diabetes support groups from the perspective o f support group participants. This study examined the subjective experience of being a participant in a diabetes support group upon a person's physical and emotional well being. Participants were recruited from a diabetes support group and interviewed individually through a series of open ended interview questions. The participants reported various physical and emotional challenges related to their diabetes. The support group was a source of information, hope, shared experience and group problem solving as individuals strived to maintain lifestyle behaviors required to manage their diabetes. This support group was a positive source of support for these participants. More studies, with larger sample sizes, examining support group interventions or strategies would be beneficial in order to gain an understanding of which aspects of a support group promote positive client outcomes. Advanced practice nurses play a pivotal role in designing further studies that examine the impact of support groups. This will enhance our understanding of a support group's role in sustaining and promoting positive health behaviors and well being. In order to continue this form of support in the community, health policy needs to address the funding of this resource to sustain it as a tertiary intervention in the future.