Attitudes and barriers to exercise in adults with a recent diagnosis of type 1 diabetes: a qualitative study of participants in the Exercise for Type 1 Diabetes (EXTOD) study

Amy Kennedy, Parth Narendran, Robert C Andrews, Amanda Daley, Sheila M Greenfield, EXTOD Group

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25 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

OBJECTIVES: To explore attitudes and barriers to exercise in adults with new-onset type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM).

DESIGN: Qualitative methodology using focus group (n=1), individual face-to-face (n=4) and telephone interviews (n=8). Thematic analysis using the Framework Method.

SETTING: Nineteen UK hospital sites.

PARTICIPANTS: Fifteen participants in the Exercise for Type 1 Diabetes study. We explored current and past levels of exercise, understanding of exercise and exercise guidelines, barriers to increasing exercise levels and preferences for monitoring of activity in a trial.

RESULTS: Five main themes were identified: existing attitudes to exercise, feelings about diagnosis, perceptions about exercise consequences, barriers to increasing exercise and confidence in managing blood glucose. An important finding was that around half the participants reported a reduction in activity levels around diagnosis. Although exercise was felt to positively impact on health, some participants were not sure about the benefits or concerned about potential harms such as hypoglycaemia. Some participants reported being advised by healthcare practitioners (HCPs) not to exercise.

CONCLUSIONS: Exercise should be encouraged (not discouraged) from diagnosis, as patients may be more amenable to lifestyle change. Standard advice on exercise and T1DM needs to be made available to HCPs and patients with T1DM to improve patients' confidence in managing their diabetes around exercise.

TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: ISRCTN91388505; Results.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere017813
JournalBMJ open
Volume8
Issue number1
Early online date24 Jan 2018
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 24 Jan 2018

Keywords

  • attitudes
  • barriers
  • exercise
  • type 1 diabetes

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