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The Lived experience of Native Americans diagnosed with type 2 diabetes mellitus

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Novy, Travis R.
Marnocha, Suzanne
MS, Nursing-Family Nurse Practitioner
May 2011
Indians of North America - Health and hygiene; Indians of North America - Diseases; Diabetes
Background: Type 2 diabetes (T2DM) is a deadly condition and is endemic among Native Americans. When T2DM is mismanaged or undermanaged there can be severe long-term disability including blindness, heart disease, and kidney failure. Managing T2DM involves significant lifestyle changes, including weight loss and exercise. There is a dearth of information regarding the understanding of T2DM among Native American cultures. Purpose: The purpose of the study was to extract essences of meaning of what it is like to live with T2DM. Implications for advanced practice nurses were to better understand and to provide effective, culturally congruent care to Native Americans living with T2DM. Research Question: The research question was, "What is the lived experience of Native Americans diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes mellitus?" Theoretical Framework: Both critical theory and Leininger's theory of cultural care diversity and universality were used as the theoretical frameworks. Design: The study was a qualitative phenomenological design that used face-to-face interviews as a means of data collection. Setting: The study was performed on the Oneida Nation Reservation in northeast Wisconsin. Sample: Participants were Native Americans who have been diagnosed and are living with T2DM. Data Collection: Data were collected through face-to-face interviews by asking participants the following question: "Please explain your experiences of living with Type 2 diabetes?" Prompting and clarification questions regarding perceptions of the disease, education, quality of care, effects on daily life, and stress were asked to aid in discussion. Data Analysis: Colaizzi's procedural steps were used to guide the data analysis. Results: Analysis of results revealed T2DM as an unfortunate rite of passage for Native Americans living in northeast Wisconsin, further acknowledgment included a long, hard fought battle accompanied by many ups and downs requiring an emotional support system to overcome the constant battle of T2DM. Additionally, participants expressed the increased need for education for future generations.
A Clinical Paper submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Nursing-Family Nurse Practitioner
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