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Psicologia, Saúde & Doenças

versão impressa ISSN 1645-0086


TRAVIESO, Carmen Elisa; MENDES, Álvaro  e  SOUSA, Liliana. Living with diabetes is “carrying a cross: Mtaphors of elderly diabetic. Psic., Saúde & Doenças [online]. 2017, vol.18, n.3, pp.747-759. ISSN 1645-0086.

Diabetes mellitus is a chronic disease, being type 2 the more frequent form. In Portugal, it affects more than a quarter of the older population. The treatment is defined, but depends on patients' self-management. However, data shows that excellent self-management is low. Metaphors are mental models that reveal the lived experience, contributing to support the professionals adjusting intervention. This study aims to analyse metaphors of type 2 older (≥ 65 years) diabetics, about “living with diabetes” (reaction to diagnosis; management of therapeutic recommendations; main challenges). This qualitative and exploratory study uses the cognitive metaphor theory to uncover participants' metaphors through semi-structured interviews. The sample comprises 17 participants that reported 114 metaphors. The interviews were submitted to content analysis, based on the procedure of metaphors systematic analysis. Main findings show that: reaction to diagnosis involves “it distressed me”; management of therapeutic recommendations comprise “commit sins” and “to habituate”; main challenges include “carrying the cross God gave us” and “be cautious”. These metaphors suggest that the older type 2 diabetics live in a “spiral”, where all goes around the illness, feeling the need to free themselves by trespassing recommendations.

Palavras-chave : diabetes type 2; older persons; metaphors; self-management; health education.

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