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Table 2 Aspects named by the participants having most impact (4 or 5 out of 5) on daily life of T2DM patients

From: Patients’ perspective on self-management: type 2 diabetes in daily life

Categories Aspects named by participants to have most (4 or 5 out of 5) impact on daily life Explanations Quotes from participants
Lifestyle changes Food and drinks Eating and drinking is necessary throughout the day, but the amount of carbohydrates always needs to be taken into account. “I used to always count carbohydrates, but not anymore. Now I just know what I can and cannot eat a day.”
Exercising It is healthy to exercise, but timing, amount and intensity of exercising must be attuned to the intake of carbohydrates (or the other way around). “Walking with the dog is fun to do! It motivates and supports me in exercising.”
Regular schedule The daily life of patients with T2DM requires a regular schedule, because otherwise blood sugar levels will be out of control. “The need for always taking into account my schedule for eating, that is annoying”
Medication Medication Different types of medication can be prescribed for T2DM, depending on HbA1C level of the patient. Every type of medication requires tuning with food intake and exercising, and the need for medication can be reduced by having a healthy lifestyle. “I do not need any medication; I only pay very good attention to my lifestyle to keep the HbA1c level within good range.”
Control & knowledge Being in control Patients want to be in control of their blood sugar levels, and therefore in control of the diabetes throughout the day. Nevertheless, this is not always possible, for example, emotions influence blood sugar levels as well, which can be very difficult to control. “By doing measurements with this blood glucose level meter, I start to learn to control diabetes, because I can actually see the effect of my behaviour.”
Knowledge Patients feel like they need a lot of knowledge about T2DM and how to best deal with it, so they know what to adjust and do in their daily life. “You are overwhelmed by all new information, but still you feel like you don’t know anything about it.”