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Intimacy and women with type 2 diabetes: an exploratory study using focus group interviews
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Health Services Research. (Health Services Research)
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Health Services Research. (Health Services Research)
2003 (English)In: The diabetes educator, ISSN 0145-7217, E-ISSN 1554-6063, Vol. 29, no 4, 641-652 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

PURPOSE: This study explored if and how women perceived diabetes as affecting their social and sexual intimacy and if they wished to receive professional attention for any sexual disturbances that they experience. METHODS: A series of five focus group interviews were conducted with 33 women with type 2 diabetes, ages 44 to 80 years, who also completed a questionnaire on sexual functioning: Two thirds were married and one third were sexually active. RESULTS: Categories resulting from the qualitative analysis were guilt and embarrassment in diabetes; female intimacy and shame; sexual dysfunction, an invisible problem; and the female patient. Asking women about intimacy revealed self-blame and embarrassment regarding their diabetes and sexual functioning. Several women who had experienced sexual dysfunction described barriers that made it difficult to obtain optimal care and/or self-care measures to cope with vaginal dryness, pain during intercourse, and decreased desire. Many of the women had the social and emotional resources to cope with their disease. Nonetheless, they experienced guilt, shame, and embarrassment, which are potentially oppressive features of having type 2 diabetes. CONCLUSIONS: Asking women with type 2 diabetes about intimacy in a contextually adequate way at routine follow-up visits could give them a chance to discuss both sexual and social intimacy concerns related to their diabetes.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2003. Vol. 29, no 4, 641-652 p.
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Medical and Health Sciences
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URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-64724DOI: 10.1177/014572170302900410OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-64724DiVA: diva2:92635
Available from: 2008-10-17 Created: 2008-10-17 Last updated: 2017-11-30Bibliographically approved

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Rosenqvist, Urban

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