Self-management of type 1 diabetes in young adults: Is it impeded by aspects of everyday life? A scoping review

Emma Shiel, Steve Hemingway, Kim Burton, Nigel King

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Background and aim
For people with type 1 diabetes, self-management is a necessity. However, self-management can be impeded by aspects of everyday life, which may impact young adults moving to independence. However, it is not yet clear which aspects are most relevant, nor what knowledge gaps remain.

An established scoping review methodology was used to select and synthesise the existing literature. Sixteen peer reviewed articles were included for analysis.

Type 1 diabetes self-management exists within a disordered space, impeded by aspects of everyday life, while simultaneously impeding daily living. Negative attitudes, concealment, non-adherence, Diabetes Distress, and mental illness were each associated with difficulty in self-management. A cyclical relationship between these characteristics emerged: they are obstacles to self-management yet also result from poor self-management. Young adults were identified as a vulnerable demographic: they tend to perceive type 1 diabetes more negatively and have additional life priorities (e.g., education/work) that lead to suboptimal self-management, including non-adherence behaviours, which can reduce quality of life. Several gaps in the literature were found, notably around psychological experiences, employment, and effective interventions. Few studies involved in-depth exploration of lived experiences.

There is a need to develop novel interventions to support self-management of type 1 diabetes that target the obstacles identified here. Furthermore, experiential research into younger adults’ experiences of life and work with type 1 diabetes will help fill the knowledge gap for this demographic.
Original languageEnglish
Article number102918
Number of pages7
JournalDiabetes and Metabolic Syndrome: Clinical Research and Reviews
Issue number12
Early online date7 Dec 2023
Publication statusPublished - 7 Dec 2023

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