The Experience of Partners of Adults with Type 1 Diabetes: an Integrative Review
- Current Diabetes Reports
Authors: Robin Whittemore, Roberta Delvy, Margaret M. McCarthy
Publisher: Springer US
Purpose of Review
The purpose of this review was to synthesize the research on the experience of partners living with adults with type 1 diabetes (T1D).
Eleven studies were included in the review. Three themes on the experience of living with a person with T1D were identified: the undercurrent of hypoglycemia, partners’ involvement in diabetes care, and the impact on partners’ lives. Due to considerable fear of hypoglycemia, partners had pervasive and deliberate ways in which they made attempts to minimize hypoglycemia in the person with diabetes and its cascade to a health emergency. As a result, partners of adults with T1D experienced considerable distress and disrupted lives. Partners also expressed a need for more support from family, friends, and health professionals.
Research is needed on the partner experience across the lifespan and the specific supportive services they need in order to optimize their health outcomes.