Understanding the Lived Experience of Children With Type 1 Diabetes in Kenya: Daily Routines and Adaptation Over Time
Palmer T., Waliaula C., Shannon G., Salustri F., Grewal G., Chelagat W., Jennings HM., Skordis J.
Focusing only on biomedical targets neglects the important role that psychosocial factors play in effective diabetes self-management. This study aims to understand the lived experiences of children with Type 1 Diabetes (T1DM) in Kenya. Children ( n = 15) participated in focus group discussions and photo diary data collection. Focus group discussions and semi-structured interviews were also conducted with caregivers ( n = 14). We describe an adaptation to diabetes over time, identifying four overarching themes: knowledge and awareness, economic exclusion, the importance of social support, and striving for normality. Photo diaries are then categorized to explore daily realities of diabetes management. Children with T1DM in Kenya face varied barriers to care but can lead a “normal” and fulfilling life, provided adequate support is in place. To improve the lives of children with diabetes in this context and others like it, stakeholders must take note of children’s experiences and recognize their multidimensional needs.