Is diagnosis of type 2 diabetes a “teachable moment”? A qualitative study

Elena Dimcheva Dimova*, Vivien Swanson, Josie M.M. Evans

*Corresponding author for this work

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To explore the potential of type 2 diabetes diagnosis to be a “teachable moment”.

Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 23 participants (10 people with type 2 diabetes, 13 relatives of people with type 2 diabetes) in Scotland, UK. They explored cognitive, emotional and behavioural changes following diagnosis of type 2 diabetes in oneself or in a relative. Data were analysed using Framework approach.

Strong emotional responses are not always related to the occurrence of a teachable moment. Risk perception and outcome expectancy were found to be teachable moment factors for patients with type 2 diabetes and their offspring, but not their partners. Change in self-concept increases the likelihood of type 2 diabetes diagnosis to be a teachable moment for patients but not for relatives. In some cases, type 2 diabetes is perceived as incompatible with current roles thus hindering diabetes self-management. Relatives often engage in caring for patients and “policing” their behaviour but did not report perceived changes in social roles.

The study suggests that diagnosis of type 2 diabetes is a teachable moment for some patients and their relatives. These findings have implications for interventions to address diabetes self-management in patients and primary prevention in their relatives.
Original languageEnglish
Article number108170
Number of pages10
JournalDiabetes Research and Clinical Practice
Early online date1 May 2020
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020


  • type 2 diabetes
  • teachable moment
  • patients
  • relatives
  • interviews


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