What I felt as a diabetes fatigue survivor: a phenomenology study

Kusnanto Kusnanto, Rifky Octavia Pradipta, Hidayat Arifin, Gusmaniarti Gusmaniarti, Hanny Handiyani, Sirikanok Klankhajhon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Purpose: Diabetes has resulted in an increase in diabetic fatigue syndrome, which has a negative influence on health, particularly the risk of worsening quality of life (QoL) due to physical and mental limitations. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the experiences of patients with unregulated type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and diabetes fatigue syndrome. Methods: This study used a qualitative phenomenological design and focused on patients from four primary health centers (PHCs) in Surabaya, Indonesia with higher incidents of unregulated T2DM. Thirty participants were recruited using purposive sampling with the following inclusion criteria: adult T2DM patients, willing to participate in the study, and able to recount experiences associated with their illness. Data collection took place between April and June 2020 across 36 interview sessions. Semi-structured interviews were carried out face-to-face with each participant with the principles of social distancing applied due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Results: Analysis identified five themes and thirteen subthemes. The first theme was participants’ experiences during blood glucose imbalance. Other themes included experiences of boredom with diet, physical and psychological distress, financial problems during treatment, and sexual problems. Conclusion: Participants with T2DM who experienced diabetes fatigue reported negative effects on their life, especially on health, functional daily activity, and finances. The results of this study can provide information for nurses and other healthcare providers to promote interventions for patients with T2DM, such as modifying lifestyle, self-acceptance, and self-efficacy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1753-1762
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Diabetes and Metabolic Disorders
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022


  • Blood glucose
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Fatigue syndrome
  • Glycemic control
  • Phenomenology


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