An Exploration of Self-Care Practice and Self-Care Support Provision for Patients with Type 2 Diabetes in Malaysia

Sanisah Saidi

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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Background: A marked increase of type 2 diabetes and associated morbidity and mortality rate over the last 10 years has been recorded in Malaysia. Ineffective diabetes management and a lack of self-care practice among type 2 diabetic patients have been identified as the major reasons for this problem. Research in other countries has highlighted a range of factors influencing effective self-care of type 2 diabetes including patients' perspectives of diabetes, sociocultural issues, religious beliefs and support from healthcare. Nevertheless, there is paucity of research conducted in Malaysia. Therefore, the exploration of self-care practice and self-care support provision in patients with type 2 diabetes in Malaysia is needed to understand the problem.Aims: To understand the self-care practice of patients with type 2 diabetes in Malaysia and the factors that influence the patients' self-care practice. To understand the type 2 diabetes’ self-care support provision in Malaysia from the perspective of patients, healthcare professionals, and healthcare system.Methods: A qualitative, single embedded case study design was utilised. Eighteen patients with type 2 diabetes and 19 healthcare professionals (physicians, diabetes educators, nurse, pharmacist and dietician), involved in self-care support provision primary- and secondary-care settings in Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya, Malaysia, participated in in-depth semi-structured interviews between November 2012 and June 2013. In addition, data were collected through participant-observation of clinic consultations, and analysis of relevant documents used in the provision of diabetes management in the respective clinics. The framework technique supported analysis of data. Data were stored and managed using Nvivo 9 software. Findings: The findings indicate that patients with type 2 diabetes had a good understanding of diabetes and self-care, but a lack of self-care support meant that effective self-care was difficult to sustain. Healthcare processionals’ (HCPs’) provision of self-care support was restricted due to several factors, including lack of opportunity to provide self-care support, unsuitable clinic environment and a fragmented management within primary and secondary care. Additionally, barriers in patient–HCP communication, a combination of the personal, interpersonal and inter-professional HCP factors, and traditional medical model adopted by Malaysian healthcare system, seem to have influenced the practice and quality of the service delivered. Conclusion: It is clear that the increased incidence of uncontrolled type 2 diabetes is not merely due to poor self-care practice by patients, but also due to constraint in service delivery and underdevelopment of self-care support provision. The evidence generated can assist in the development of strategies to improve the quality of care and facilitate changes in the self-care support provision in Malaysia.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Division of Nursing, Midwifery & Social Work
Publication statusPublished - 23 Apr 2015


  • Type 2 Diabetes, Self-Care, Case Study Research, Qualitative


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