Psychosocial Problems and Coping Mechanisms of People with Diabetes: A Case of Armed Forces Comprehensive Specialized Hospital Addis Ababa

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The main objective of the study was to explore the psychosocial problems and coping mechanisms of people with diabetes. Psychosocial problems are common in patients with diabetes. However, data on psychosocial issues affecting patients with diabetes in Ethiopia are scarce. The study employed a qualitative research approach to answer the questions and achieve the research objectives. Data were collected from 10 people with diabetes and 2 healthcare providers through in-depth interviews and from 8 care givers through focus group discussion. As to the sampling technique, the study used purposive sampling for all. Data were analyzed following thematic content analysis approach. Based on the data analysis, the following findings were obtained. During the first phase of living with diabetes, patients experienced diabetes diagnosis distress, fear, grief, anger and initial changes in activities, and conduct and personality changes. These problems continued during all phases of living with diabetes too. And even though the patients are getting free medical service in Armed Forces Comprehensive Specialized Hospital, there were occasions medications are unavailable in times of disease progression and on set of complications. Moreover, the hospital has no a trend of supporting patients in association with psychosocial problems. Diabetes patients try to cope up their problems by using their own way. But there is common coping mechanism that most of the respondents’ use were seek spiritual help, doing exercise, accepting the illness and family support are important coping mechanisms. Based on the findings above, this study concluded that people with diabetes in Armed Forces Comprehensive Hospital have several psycho-social problems. The patients have not received services beyond clinical intervention. There is no as such significant communication between patients and health providers including care givers to the extent it can serve as instrument in alleviating psycho-social problems. So, there should be patient education. In addition, care providers should implement intervention to address the day today problems of living with diabetes-related to self-management behaviors, as well as diabetes-related family conflict



People with diabetes, psycho social problems, coping mechanisms