Diabetic polyneuropathy and neuropathic pain: findings from a qualitative study

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Abstract

Diabetic polyneuropathy and painful diabetic polyneuropathy are common long-term complications of diabetes. The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore the impact of diabetic polyneuropathy and painful diabetic polyneuropathy symptoms on the participants’ quality of life. Individual interviews were conducted in order to examine how diabetic polyneuropathy and painful diabetic polyneuropathy symptoms are experienced and how they impact on quality of life. The participants were all recruited from a large cohort of patients from a cross-sectional, nationwide, population-based study of diabetic polyneuropathy within adult patients with type 2 diabetes in Denmark. Narratives were elicited from the interview transcripts and then analysed in order to identify themes and patterns within and across interviews. Seventeen people participated in the study; seven were diagnosed with diabetic polyneuropathy and 10 were diagnosed with painful diabetic polyneuropathy. Analysis of the data showed that diabetic polyneuropathy and painful diabetic polyneuropathy symptoms can significantly exacerbate the illness burden of type 2 diabetes. The patients’ experiences of symptoms do not always correspond with the biomedical measurement of these, and patients do not necessarily experience the same symptoms in the same way as their individual context affects their perception. Diabetic polyneuropathy and painful diabetic polyneuropathy can be severe complications of type 2 diabetes and in order to assess the impact on quality of life an individualistic and holistic approach is necessary.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPractical Diabetes
Volume37
Issue6
Pages (from-to)211-215
Number of pages5
ISSN2047-2897
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2020

Keywords

  • diabetic polyneuropathy
  • painful diabetic polyneuropathy
  • qualitative study
  • quality of life

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