Vol 12, No 2 (2023)
Observation letter
Published online: 2023-03-09

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ISSN 2450–7458
e-ISSN 2450–8187

Life Style Challenges and Potential Solutions in Type 2 Diabetes: A Single Center, Qualitative Study from Iran

Mostafa Alimehr1Fereshteh Sohrabivafa2Ashraf Sadat Dehghani3MohsenJaliliTahmasebi4MaryamKord5Zeynab Amiri6
1Department of Health Services Management, Dezful University of Medical Sciences, Dezful, Iran
2Department of Community Medicine, School of Medicine Dezful University of Medical Sciences, Dezful, Iran
3Department of Health Education and Promotion, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran
4Department of Health Services Management, Shahrekord University of Medical Sciences, Shahrekord, Iran
5Department of Environmental Health, Islamic Azad University, Firuzabad Branch of Medical Sciences, Firuzabad, Iran
6Department of Gerontology, University of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation, Tehran, Iran

Address for correspondence:

Zeynab Amiri

Department of Gerontology University of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation, Tehran, Iran

e-mail: researchteam.assistant@gmail.com

Clinical Diabetology 2023, 12; 2: 137–138

DOI: 10.5603/DK.a2023.0005

Received: 30.12.2022 Accepted: 2.01.2023

Dodaj Early publication date: 9.03.2023


According to studies, it is estimated that about 80% of people with diabetes live in middle-income and low-income countries. On the other hand, these patients need continuous medical care and education, and support to prevent acute complications [1, 2]. Patients with diabetes face challenges during their illness. These challenges include various dimensions, including economic, social, psychological, and physical dimensions [3]. Also, the lack of a healthy lifestyle and wrong habits in daily life aggravate the complications of this disease [4].

Materials and methods

This was a qualitative study conducted at the seven health care centers in Shush, Iran. Our study aimed to determine the life style challenges and potential solutions in type 2 diabetes. The sampling criterion was to have information about the challenges of the Lifestyle of patients with diabetes. The interviews were semi-structured and in-depth and were conducted by appointment with the participants. Each interview lasted for approximately 35 to 45 minutes.


In this study, the number of interviewees was 17, of which 9 were men and 8 were women, and their average age was 35 years (range 30–57 years). In the present study determining the challenges related to the lifestyle of patients with diabetes, 8 main themes and 18 sub-themes were identified (Tab. 1).

Table1. Themes and Sub-Themes Related to the Lifestyle Challenges of Patients with Diabetes and Providing Corrective Solutions

Main theme




Job performance

  1. Attendance at work
  2. Performance
  3. Work-life balance
  1. Absence from work
  2. Low efficiency
  3. Difficulty in balancing work
    and personal life
  1. Set a work schedule
  2. Increasing effectiveness
    in the job
  3. Creating compatibility between work and family

Mental health

  1. Communications
  2. Spiritual-psychological issues
  1. Weak communication and
  2. Stress and anxiety
  1. Increasing self-confidence and changing perspective
  2. Managing stress and negative thoughts with positive thinking


  1. The cost of treatment and
  2. The cost of education,
    prevention, and information
  1. Increasing the cost of treatment and medicine
  2. Existence of education and
    disease prevention costs
  1. Putting drugs under insurance coverage
  2. Creating a platform to make
    education and prevention
    programs free


  1. Symptoms of the disease
  2. Movement and exercise
  1. Physical effects of the disease
  2. Inability of some patients to move and exercise due
    to old age
  1. Timely care and appropriate treatment and follow-up
    through health centers
  2. Sufficient movement and daily exercise and age-appropriate exercises


  1. Diet
  2. Weight control
  1. Not following the diet
  2. Obesity and weight gain
  1. Reducing the consumption
    of carbohydrates in the diet
  2. Lowering body weight

Health care

  1. Providing services
  2. Follow up and care
  1. Low quality in service delivery
  2. Weakness in following up with diabetes patients
  1. Providing services with more
    effort and attention from health and treatment managers
  2. Creating a suitable program to follow up with patients

and awareness
about the disease

  1. Medicl information about diabetes
  2. Knowledge of self-care
  1. Weak medical information in most patients
  2. Low awareness in most patients regarding self-care knowledge
  1. Studying and raising awareness about the disease
  2. Raising awareness of self-care knowledge with the training
    of health experts

The patient

  1. Caring for patients at home
  2. Preparing the patient’s medicine
  3. The condition of the patient
  1. The burden and fatigue of caring for the patient at home
  2. Problems in preparing the
    patient’s medicine
  3. Anxiety caused by thinking
    about the patient’s health
  1. Empowering patients in self-care
  2. Cooperation with the family of diabetic patients through pharmacies, introducing health centers
  3. Supporting the patient and
    raising self-confidence


According to the findings obtained from the interviews with experts, the family of diabetes patients plays an effective role in controlling and treating this disease, and by empathizing and being with the patient, they encourage and give morale to the patient in the family. The incidence and prevalence of type 2 diabetes are one of the major challenges of Iran’s health system. Despite the policies for the prevention and control of diabetes, Iran is facing many problems in the field of prevention and control of this disease at the executive level. The results of this study showed that patients with diabetes also face challenges in various dimensions, including occupational performance, mental health, physical performance, economic-social performance, nutrition, health care, knowledge and awareness about the disease, and the patient’s family.


This study was not supported by any funding.

Conflict of interest

None declared.


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