Group participants' experiences of a patient-directed group-based education program for the management of type 2 diabetes mellitus

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OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to explore the experiences of individuals who participated in a group-based education program, including their motivators in relation to their diabetes management, and the perceived impact of group interactions on participants' experiences and motivation for self-management. Understanding individuals diagnosed with diabetes experiences of group-based education for the management of type 2 diabetes mellitus may guide the development and facilitation of these programs.

METHODS: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with all individuals who participated in the intervention. Using thematic analysis underpinned by self-determination theory, we developed themes that explored participants' motivators in relation to diabetes management and the impact of group interactions on their experiences and motivation.

RESULTS: The key themes included knowledge, experience, group interactions and motivation. Participants perceived that the group interactions facilitated further learning and increased motivation, achieved through normalization, peer identification or by talking with, and learning from the experience of others.

CONCLUSIONS: The results support the use of patient-centred programs that prioritize group interactions over the didactic presentation of content, which may address relevant psychological needs of people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes mellitus, and improve their motivation and health behaviours. Future group-based education programs may benefit from the use of self-determination theory as a framework for intervention design to enhance participant motivation.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0177688
JournalPLoS One
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 16 May 2017


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