People with intellectual disabilities (ID) experience significant barriers to diabetes self-management (DSM), yet there remains a paucity of research within this population. An overview of the literature on people with ID and their caregivers’ experiences of living with and self-managing type 2 diabetes is provided. Meta-aggregative methods were adopted to synthesize results, and an appraisal was reported of rigor. A total of eight studies met the inclusion criteria and four themes were extracted: (i) “Frustration over lifestyle adjustments,” (ii) “Limited understanding and inadequate educational resources,” (iii) “Limited training and knowledge in staff,” and (iv) “Potential for effective DSM with appropriate support.” Current support is inadequate to meet the needs of people with ID and their caregivers self-managing diabetes. Structured education to improve health literacy and diabetes knowledge in people with ID is required, together with training for caregivers which leads to a culture of nurturing autonomy.
- type 2 diabetes mellitus
- Intellectual disabilities