Original Research

A diabetes peer support intervention: Patient experiences using the Mmogo-method®

Melanie A. Pienaar, Marianne Reid
Health SA Gesondheid | Vol 26 | a1512 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hsag.v26i0.1512 | © 2021 Melanie A. Pienaar, Marianne Reid | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 07 July 2020 | Published: 27 January 2021

About the author(s)

Melanie A. Pienaar, School of Nursing, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa
Marianne Reid, School of Nursing, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: Self-management is the backbone of diabetes care. For the patient with type 2 diabetes, this implies making decisions about a healthy diet, regular exercise and taking treatment appropriately. Some patients may experience barriers to the self-management of diabetes, such as lack of support. In this respect, peer support has been identified as a promising strategy in the self-management of diabetes.

Aim: The study aimed to explore the experiences of adults with type 2 diabetes who took part in a diabetes peer support intervention in the Free State, South Africa. Such information may lead to the development of practical methods for diabetes self-management and control.

Methods: Twelve purposively sampled Sesotho-speaking women (aged 51–84 years) participated in the Mmogo-method®, a visual-based narrative enquiry. Textual data from audio recordings of discussions, visual data from photographs of constructions and field notes were triangulated and analysed thematically.

Results: Participants described the peer support intervention as very valuable. They regarded community health workers as an important source of support. Three themes emerged from the intervention: positive lifestyle changes, continuous support, and improved confidence and sense of connectedness. This was a significant finding reported in patients with diabetes, as it will contribute to successfully sustaining effective self-management behaviour.

Conclusions: Peer support for patients with type 2 diabetes appeared to be a valued intervention, as participants related well to community health workers, who are ideally positioned in the healthcare system to provide the service.


Keywords

Mmogo-method®; patient experiences; peer support; South Africa; type 2 diabetes

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