The Experience of Partners of Adults with Type 1 Diabetes: an Integrative Review

Abstract

Purpose of Review

The purpose of this review was to synthesize the research on the experience of partners living with adults with type 1 diabetes (T1D).

Recent Findings

Eleven studies were included in the review. Three themes on the experience of living with a person with T1D were identified: the undercurrent of hypoglycemia, partners’ involvement in diabetes care, and the impact on partners’ lives. Due to considerable fear of hypoglycemia, partners had pervasive and deliberate ways in which they made attempts to minimize hypoglycemia in the person with diabetes and its cascade to a health emergency. As a result, partners of adults with T1D experienced considerable distress and disrupted lives. Partners also expressed a need for more support from family, friends, and health professionals.

Summary

Research is needed on the partner experience across the lifespan and the specific supportive services they need in order to optimize their health outcomes.

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Fig. 1

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Correspondence to Robin Whittemore.

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Robin Whittemore, Roberta Delvy, and Margaret M. McCarthy declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

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Whittemore, R., Delvy, R. & McCarthy, M.M. The Experience of Partners of Adults with Type 1 Diabetes: an Integrative Review. Curr Diab Rep 18, 19 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11892-018-0986-4

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Keywords

  • Type 1 diabetes
  • Adults
  • Partners
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Significant others
  • Marriage