Patient Illness Trajectory From Diabetes Diagnosis to Hemodialysis in Taiwan

Table of Contents

Problem Statement

The research problem as presented in this report majors on the gap in knowledge about diabetic patients’ perceptions of their health and the significance of such information to nurses in the management of the disease. The current knowledge on diabetes is limited, and thus nurses know little about the perceptions of patients regarding the disease in different stages (Yu & Tsai, 2013). Patients suffering from chronic diabetes exhibit varied symptoms depending on the stage of the illness. Self-management of the disease is recommended to delay the occurrence of complications. Patients tend to ignore this aspect due to a lack of incentives and ignorance caused by the limited knowledge of the disease.

The study topic is of great significance as the author presents the negatives associated with the disease. Firstly, management of the disease is expensive, especially in its advanced stages. Managing the disease at its initial stages would thus save governments and individuals a lot of resources and time. Secondly, if diabetes is not managed at its initial stages, it may accelerate the occurrence of complications such as renal failure. According to the authors, of the total number of patients diagnosed with kidney failure, 27.4% are diabetic (American Diabetes Association, 2011). The high prevalence rates of the disease coupled with the high cost of managing it underscores the significance of the study topic.

Purpose and Research Questions

The purpose of this research was to illuminate the actual experiences and perceptions of diabetic patients regarding the disease in every stage. The author conducted interviews with the patients to determine their perception of the disease. The research aimed at acquiring relevant information about the patients in a bid to increase knowledge on the topic. The research was designed to answer the following two questions, viz. what are the patients’ perceptions regarding diabetes at each stage and what are the stages of development of diabetes, and how does each stage differ from one another in terms of patients’ experiences?

The purpose and the research questions are consistent with the research problem as they are closely related. The purpose of the research is to gather the information that could solve the research problem. The research questions are designed in such a way that they attract answers that would assist the researchers to accomplish the purpose of the research. The research questions facilitated the use of the qualitative method of research. Qualitative research involves personal interaction with participants, hence the only best way that data could be collected in this particular research. The use of the qualitative research method in this research was thus well thought out.

Literature Review

The authors support their ideas and findings by citing both qualitative and quantitative articles throughout their work. In addition, the authors outsource information on the topic from other materials not founded on either qualitative or quantitative research (Yu & Tsai, 2013). Such sources include books, journals, and other electronic materials whose content is consistent with the research topic.

The majority of the references used by the authors to support their work are current. However, the authors also use references going back to the year 1984. The old references are from qualitative research articles while the majority of the current references represent quantitative research articles. Referencing old articles is acceptable as long as they are based on the qualitative research method (Burns & Grove, 2010). The skillful integration of both the current and the old sources demonstrates the depth of the research by the authors. The authors analyze the available literature and depict their shortfalls.

One of the weaknesses identified is that the literature only gives a generalized account of the nature of diabetes and describes it as a chronic and progressive disease, which predisposes one to kidney complications. The literature fails to explore the actual feelings and perceptions of diabetic patients, which according to the authors, are of great importance in the nursing practice. In addition, the current literature does not analyze the relationship between the patients’ motivation and self-management of the disease. The authors provide enough information on the subject matter in the literature review section. The information presented in the literature review section presents the significance of the research topic and forms the basis of the research question.

Conceptual / Theoretical Framework

The authors identify the importance of psycho-physiological adjustment knowledge by both patients and health practitioners in the management or delaying of the onset of complications caused by diabetes. This aspect forms the perspective on which the research is founded. Theoretical frameworks are integrated into almost every research. They take the form of tables and other forms of graphics and they serve the purpose of summarizing the results.

They appear at the end of the research or within the text. In this research, the authors summarize their findings in a table and make comparisons between previous research and their own. The table shows the knowledge that people already have regarding the topic in consideration coupled with illustrating the additions made by this research.


American Diabetes Association. (2011). Executive summary: standards of medical care in diabetes–2011. Diabetes care, 34(4), 1-10.

Burns, N., & Grove, S. (2010). Understanding nursing research: Building an evidence-based practice (5th ed.). Maryland Heights, MO: Elsevier.

Yu, I., & Tsai, Y. (2013). From silence to the storm–patient illness trajectory from diabetes diagnosis to hemodialysis in Taiwan: a qualitative study of patients’ perceptions. Journal of advanced nursing, 69(9), 1943-1952.

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