The Coping Skills, Treatment, and Support Aspects of Diabetes Mellitus

Table of Contents


Being diagnosed with a chronic disease such as diabetes mellitus is a big blow to the patient and the family. According to Forjuoh, Ory, Jiang, Vuong, and Bolin (2014), acceptance of the diagnosis is the first step in the management of the disease. The stages of accepting an illness include denial, anger, fear, grief, and acceptance. T. N is my neighbor, she is aged 54 and has a BMI of 32, and was recently found to suffer from diabetes mellitus. Based on the questionnaire, T. N and the family members understand the factors that can increase the chances of developing diabetes. Despite the knowledge of the predisposing factors, there have been challenges that relate to the management of diabetes. For instance, the cost of management is high, and lack of support to access healthy foods. T.N is in the acceptance stage of the disease. The stage requires psychological, emotional, and social support to improve the patient’s quality of life. The following paper is an analysis of the coping skills, treatment, and support aspects of diabetes mellitus in respect to T.N.

Coping skills

The main goal of Healthy People 2020 is to reduce diseases and the economic burdens that are related to diseases. Concerning diabetes mellitus, the main aim is to improve the quality of life of people having the condition or those at risk of developing it. Forjuoh et al. (2014) noted that acceptance prepares the patient and the family to accept the condition and hence make the required lifestyle choices for the management and treatment.

According to Kent et al. (2010), healthy coping integrates healthy eating habits, physical exercise, understanding and monitoring blood sugar, taking medication, and taking measures to reduce exposure to risks.

The integration of the behaviors forms the framework for patient-centered diabetes management. The framework is based on the understanding that coping skills are affected by psychosocial factors. As a result, the social support from the family plays a critical role in promoting the quality of life for the patient. In the case of T.N, the coping skills will entail greater involvement of the family members to ensure that she can access healthy foods. In addition, she needs to reduce her weight and thus should enroll in fitness clubs that will encourage exercising regularly.


Treatment of diabetes entails the pharmacological processes that are integrated with the lifestyle changes to ensure holistic care for the patient. In the pharmacological management of diabetes mellitus, the major factors that are considered include the determination of whether the patient is insulin-dependent, insulin-deficient, or the combination of the two (Ripsin, Kang & Urban, 2009). Based on the condition, the treatment entails measures to ensure that the glycemic index is maintained within the normal range. However, pharmacological treatment has adverse economic implications for patients. For instance, T.N noted that one of the challenges was the cost of managing diabetes mellitus.

The treatment of diabetes requires the adoption of cost-effective measures to sustain the treatment interventions. Cost-effective measures entail having regular medical checkups and focusing on healthy lifestyles. Kent et al. (2010) established poor diabetes management, especially among patients who do not seek regular medical care leads to increased cost of treatment. This is because the conditions that exacerbate diabetes are left to progress undetected. Therefore, T. N should liaise with the support health centers to ensure regular check-ups and treatment of the issues that may complicate diabetes management if left untreated.

Support Aspects of the Illness

T.N requires a holistic care plan to enhance the healing process. The analysis of the patient pointed to some barriers that need to be overcome to promote the management of diabetes. For instance, T.N was concerned about the ability to have healthy foods and the cost of the management of diabetes. These aspects point to the need for an integrated care plan that will directly influence the T.N’s lifestyle.

Bircher defined health as “a complete state of physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity” (p.336). The rationale for the definition is to bring into attention factors that directly affect the health of a person. For example, Chew, Shariff-Ghazali, and Fernandez (2014) found that psychological distress has a direct effect on health. In addition, it impacts the motivation of an individual to adopt healthy behaviors that are required to control diabetes. It is worth noting that the management and treatment of diabetes requires a lot of commitment. Low motivation leads to reduced commitment to the management process. As a result, there is the need for integration of all support aspects that touch on the mental, physical, and social wellbeing of the patient. According to Chew et al. (2014), the support aspects should be geared towards overcoming the barriers to healthy lifestyles.

One support aspect is linking the patient to diabetes educators. The educators play a critical role in the identification of the person’s motivation to adopt the desired behavior. In addition, they help in setting the behavioral goals and guiding the patient to achieve the goals. Chew et al. (2014) noted that diabetes educators have the capability of helping the patients to learn what they can control and the best ways to cope with the challenges of diabetes. Another support aspect of diabetes mellitus is taking care of the social and emotional issues. This can be achieved by enrolling the patient in a support group that comprises other patients suffering from diabetes. The aspect is based on the illness perception, which involves beliefs, cognitive and emotional understanding the patient has about the illness (Kent et al., 2010).

A misperception about the disease can compromise the patient’s coping strategies. Thus, the inclusion to support groups enhances sharing of experiences and hence dispels some misconceptions about diabetes. Support groups also play a critical role in promoting the physical aspect of diabetes management through engaging in physical exercise together. The family also plays an important role in providing the aspect of love to the patient. The acceptance of the disease by the individual and the family helps in drawing strategies that can help to promote effective management measures.


The acceptance of illness is the first stage in the effective management of the illness. The management of chronic diseases should be based on a holistic care plan that integrates the aspects of physical, mental, and social factors. Thus, the development of a care plan for T.N should include a team approach that comprises family, diabetes educators, support groups, and personal effort. This will lead to holistic management to improve the quality of life as provided in the Healthy People 2020 i.e. reducing diabetes mellitus and the economic burdens related to it, as well as improving the quality of life of all those having the condition or are at risk of developing it.


Bircher, J. (2005). Towards a dynamic definition of health and disease. Medical Health Care Philosophy, 8(1), 335-341.

Chew, B., Shariff-Ghazali, S., & Fernandez, A. (2014). Psychological aspects of diabetes care: Effecting behavioral change in patients. World Journal of Diabetes, 5(6), 796-799.

Forjuoh, S., Ory, M., Jiang, L., Vuong, A., & Bolin, J. (2014). Impact of chronic disease self-management programs on type 2 diabetes management in primary care. World Journal of Diabetes, 5(3), 407-411.

Kent, D., Haas, L., Randal, D., Lin, E., Thorpe, C., Boren, S. A., & Martin, A. (2010). Healthy coping: issues and implications in diabetes education and care. Population Health Management, 13(5), 227-233.

Ripsin, C., Kang, H., & Urban, R. (2009). Management of blood glucose in type 2 diabetes mellitus. American Family Physician, 79(1), 29-36.

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