Pre-diabetes, Self-management and Technology: A Qualitative Case Study

Pre-diabetes, Self-management and Technology: A Qualitative Case Study

Author: 
Stephanie F. Merck
Program of study: 
Ph.D./NUR
Abstract: 
Chronic disease is costly and requires a different approach to care than acute illness. Preventing chronic disease may improve health outcomes. This qualitative, explanatory case study explains the experiences of eight participants, from a suburban internal medicine practice in Fairfield County, CT, who used activity trackers/applications to adhere to diet and exercise. Daily email logs, information from the activity tracker/application and an exit interview provided detailed information about the participant used technology and what was most important to maintain lifestyle changes. The use of NVivo 11® assisted with data analysis to identify common themes that emerged including accountability, awareness, challenges, and knowledge. Each participant’s information offered a unique perspective into how they viewed their responsibility to participate in their treatment plan. The use of technology assisted the participants to become actively involved in their disease management and development of new skills and strategies to support their lifestyle changes. Furthermore, the participant’s described difficulties adhering to the lifestyle changes within their daily lives. Since most of the management of any chronic condition occurs outside of a provider’s office, understanding the challenges and problems encountered by those with an early chronic disease, pre-diabetes, may assist providers to develop collaborative goals with their patients. Primary Care Providers, who understand the daily struggles of those Pre-diabetics, can offer realistic strategies for an individual to develop the necessary selfmanagement skills to prevent diabetes.
Dedication: 
The completion of this dissertation is dedicated to my husband Rick and daughter Jennifer whose support through the process was unwavering. To the many family and friends who offered words of encouragement, a heartfelt thank you. A special dedication to my canine writing companions who were by my side Max and Chopper who are no longer here and Finn who has taken their place.
Acknowledgements: 
The entire doctoral journey would not have been successful without the faculty and staff of the University of Phoenix. The Academic Advisement I received assisted in the successful completion of my journey. I would like to also acknowledge my cohort of dedicated nursing professionals who kept me on track and were the listening ear when I hit a snag, particularly Marlene Meador. Your support has helped with the success of this journey. Professionally, I would like to acknowledge the physicians, staff and patients of Fairfield County Medical Group. The patients who were willing to participate in the data collection were most appreciated. To my dissertation team—Dr. Paula Wolfe, and Dr. Faisel Aboul-Enein--your help, guidance and support over the last few months encouraged me to complete this project and to move onto a new chapter in my professional life. A special thank you to Dr. Fran Nelson who stepped in to help me complete my research project during a time of adversity. I appreciate your willingness to complete an unfinished project.