Title

Diabetes Self-Management as an Occupation?

Start Time

5-10-2012 12:25 PM

End Time

5-10-2012 12:55 PM

Session Type

Event

Abstract

The incidence and prevalence of diabetes continues to increase in the United States posing a substantial threat to individual and public health (CDC, 2011). Changes in population health have resulted in individuals with chronic illnesses having to be responsible for more of the day to day self-management of their healthcare (Lorig & Holman, 2003). Diabetes self-management (DSM) entails the complex negotiation of medical and lifestyle recommendations within the context of managing everyday activities, life roles, and a sense of normalcy (Pyatak, 2011). Though existing DSM scholarship has been valuable, it is not without its limitations. There are strengths and weaknesses that occupational scientists could well complement and address, and thereby contribute to public health. The purpose of this paper is to discuss how diabetes self-management (DSM) can be viewed as an occupation and what the implications are for doing so. My argument is that occupational science can contribute a valuable and much needed perspective to DSM research through innovative conceptualization and inquiry into the problem. I use an ongoing study of how individuals with type II diabetes integrate DSM into daily life to illustrate the benefits of, and questions that arise from, conceptualizing DSM as an occupation. For example, unlike existing DSM literature which sees DSM happening in an orderly way, understanding DSM as an occupation highlights how daily life involves the negotiation of multiple, sometimes competing occupations. An occupational perspective thereby suggests how habits and routines in daily life can result in a myriad of complications and negative consequences for DSM. Furthermore, the paper discusses a novel mixed methods approach to examine DSM as an occupation that is distributed across time, space, and social networks. The paper thus contributes to an existing, though not always explicit, dialogue on the distributed nature of occupation (Dickie, 2009; Hocking, 2009). I conclude with a discussion about how viewing DSM as an occupation raises questions regarding how occupational scientists can position themselves and their scholarship to better affect change for those living with chronic illness. Moreover, the paper begins to bridge occupational science and public health concerns in order to suggest a greater role for occupational science in the study of additional populations (Holmes & Scaffa, 2009).

Questions:

  1. How could understanding self-management as an occupation contribute to improved health and wellbeing?
  2. How can occupational scientists help create “situations” that facilitate effective self-management for those with chronic illness?
  3. How do occupational scientists position themselves and their research to better affect change for those living with chronic illness?

References

Dickie, V. (2009). What is occupation? In Crepeau, E. Cohn, E. & Schelle, B. (Eds.), Willard & Spackman’s OT (pp.15-21). Philadelphia: Walters Kluver Lipinott Williams & Wilkins.

Hocking, C. (2009). The challenge of occupation: Describing the things people do. Journal of Occupational Science, 16(3), 140-150. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14427591.2009.9686655

Holmes, W., & Scaffa, M. (2009). The nature of emerging practice in occupational therapy: A pilot study. Occupational Therapy in Health Care, 23(3,. 189-206. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/07380570902976759

Lorig, K., & Holman, H. (2003). Self-Management education: History, definition, outcomes, and mechanisms. The Society of Behavioral Medicine, 26(1): 1-7. http://dx.doi.org/10.1207/S15324796ABM2601_01

Pyatak, E. A. (2011). Participation in occupational and diabetes self-management in emerging adulthood. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 65, 462-469. http://dx.doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2011.001453

Comments

Theoretical paper

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Oct 5th, 12:25 PM Oct 5th, 12:55 PM

Diabetes Self-Management as an Occupation?

The incidence and prevalence of diabetes continues to increase in the United States posing a substantial threat to individual and public health (CDC, 2011). Changes in population health have resulted in individuals with chronic illnesses having to be responsible for more of the day to day self-management of their healthcare (Lorig & Holman, 2003). Diabetes self-management (DSM) entails the complex negotiation of medical and lifestyle recommendations within the context of managing everyday activities, life roles, and a sense of normalcy (Pyatak, 2011). Though existing DSM scholarship has been valuable, it is not without its limitations. There are strengths and weaknesses that occupational scientists could well complement and address, and thereby contribute to public health. The purpose of this paper is to discuss how diabetes self-management (DSM) can be viewed as an occupation and what the implications are for doing so. My argument is that occupational science can contribute a valuable and much needed perspective to DSM research through innovative conceptualization and inquiry into the problem. I use an ongoing study of how individuals with type II diabetes integrate DSM into daily life to illustrate the benefits of, and questions that arise from, conceptualizing DSM as an occupation. For example, unlike existing DSM literature which sees DSM happening in an orderly way, understanding DSM as an occupation highlights how daily life involves the negotiation of multiple, sometimes competing occupations. An occupational perspective thereby suggests how habits and routines in daily life can result in a myriad of complications and negative consequences for DSM. Furthermore, the paper discusses a novel mixed methods approach to examine DSM as an occupation that is distributed across time, space, and social networks. The paper thus contributes to an existing, though not always explicit, dialogue on the distributed nature of occupation (Dickie, 2009; Hocking, 2009). I conclude with a discussion about how viewing DSM as an occupation raises questions regarding how occupational scientists can position themselves and their scholarship to better affect change for those living with chronic illness. Moreover, the paper begins to bridge occupational science and public health concerns in order to suggest a greater role for occupational science in the study of additional populations (Holmes & Scaffa, 2009).

Questions:

  1. How could understanding self-management as an occupation contribute to improved health and wellbeing?
  2. How can occupational scientists help create “situations” that facilitate effective self-management for those with chronic illness?
  3. How do occupational scientists position themselves and their research to better affect change for those living with chronic illness?