Why it doesn’t work

Remember we may also see young people and adolescents with long-term conditions, or we may meet them as they transition into adult services. The reasons highlighted for not engaging with education and advice are similar to adults according to a study in the BMJ (2022).

Four themes emerged from the study..

  1. Stigma

Most wanted to fit in with peers. Young people who spent a lot of time outside with friends were especially keen to hide their vulnerabilities. They often felt scrutinised when they were at the clinic..

  1. Faith based Identity

Some had a belief system that influenced their self-care; this could have a positive or negative impact on their diabetes control. For instance, Muslim participants did not drink alcohol (positive) but wanted to fast and feast around Ramadan (negative). Many other festivals and rituals required a break from routine eating patterns.

  1. Support in schools

School environments influenced decisions about self-care. Going to university was challenging for them because of the need to juggle studies with organising doctors’ appointments and prescriptions.

  1.  Self-Management

Young people knew they needed to make changes because of their condition. This could mean eating less, using an inhaler before sports or limiting hobbies such as intense boxing training. Some felt angry about needing to make changes young people and clinicians were both unwilling to discuss feelings.

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