Developing And Implementing Methods For Understanding The Peoples' Perspective

Levin D and Guttman N.
Kupat Holim Clalit Health Care Organization. Israel.
Introduction. Previous tools developed for the purpose of increasing both patients' understanding and skills for self-care of people with diabetes are often inappropriate, due to lack of understanding needs from the patients' perspective.
Methodology To build health education and promotion materials that meet the needs as they are sensed by patients, focus groups have made a significant contribution in: 1) developing teaching and empowerment concepts, 2) testing appropriateness and acceptability of messages and pre-prepared communications tools, and 3) creating sensitivity towards needs of patients in a non-threatening, informal setting. Two groups of focus groups with people with diabetes were formed: 1) experienced diabetic with 10-15 years of coping and self-management and 2) newly diagnosed diabetics (till 18 month).
Results. Both groups expressed the need for more compassion and positive reinforcement on the part of the medical team to maintain long-term follow-up. More experienced diabetics expressed obstacles to behaviour change as: lack of belief in the necessity in long term adhering to medical recommendations, in addition of the sense of regimentation opposed to a life of free and spontaneous choices.
Conclusions. Seeking and receiving information at diagnosis is critical to the coping and accepting process and to promote health behaviour change. Culturally sensitive materials should be developed and used in both individual and group counselling. The results contributed to the development of a patients' kit for self-help and partnership with the medical team.
Developing and implementing methods for understanding the peoples' perspective