Patients' illness perceptions of type 2 diabetes: a scoping review

Elena Dimcheva Dimova, A Ward, V Swanson, JM Evans

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Background: People’s personal perceptions, or illness representations, of type 2 diabetes can act as barriers to successful self-management.

Introduction: Understanding patients’ subjective perceptions of type 2 diabetes can aid the design of evidence-based care and appropriate educational programmes. This scoping review provides a narrative account of previous knowledge of patients’ illness representations of type 2 diabetes.

Methods: Quantitative and qualitative studies that explored patients’ illness representations of type 2 diabetes, as defined by Leventhal’s Common Sense Model, were included.

Results: Thirty four studies were identified for this review, but only 14 studies were carried out in a general population of people with diabetes. Illness representations varied across study populations. While it is clear that the perceptions of ethnic minorities and marginalised groups are embedded in their historical and cultural backgrounds, it is also important to understand the views of the wider population.

Conclusion: The review highlights the need for self-management interventions to reflect the target population’s representations of type 2 diabetes in order to inform interventions and clinical practice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-30
Number of pages16
JournalCurrent Diabetes Reviews
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 11 Dec 2018


  • illness representations
  • patients
  • personal perceptions
  • scoping review
  • self-management
  • type 2 diabetes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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