This study aimed to explore the experiences of women with type 1 diabetes during the menopausal transition using a grounded theory approach and, from the data, develop a substantive theory with implications for service users and service providers. A qualitative exploratory research framework was employed using a grounded theory approach. Data were collected from 10 participants using transcribed audiotaped semistructured interviews and field notes. The transcripts, audio recordings and field notes were reviewed and a coding process facilitated data analysis. This approach enabled themes to emerge from the data and ultimately a theory. A wide range of conceptions was revealed. Data are presented in seven categories that reflect the experience of the subjects: 'Blank wall' (relates to the lack of information regarding menopause and diabetes); 'Juggling game' (relates to glycaemic control); Anxiety and fear; 'Haywire' (relates to the signs and symptoms of menopausal transition); Treating symptoms; Depression and mood; and 'I'm old' (relates to ageing and mortality). A substantive theory emerged. Absence of information regarding the menopause and its impact on type 1 diabetes ('Blank wall') was identified as the main problem facing women with type 1 diabetes during their menopausal transition. The findings could enable practitioners to identify the types of information, advice and support that should be made available to these women, and contribute to the limited knowledge base currently available. The findings indicate also that further research into this under-studied but important area of diabetes care is required.
- type 1 diabetes
- grounded theory