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The clarity, timing, and authority of the delivery of a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes had important meaning for patients

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Q How do patients with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes perceive their diagnosis?


Constant comparative method with direction from a grounded theory approach.


16 general practices and 3 hospital clinics in the Lothian region of Scotland, UK.


40 patients diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in the previous 6 months. Almost all patients were white and treated by diet alone or diet plus metformin and/or gliclazide.


Patients participated in semistructured interviews of about 1 hour, which included questions on how they came to be diagnosed with diabetes, how they felt when they found out they had diabetes, and their experiences with diabetes services. Interviews were tape recorded and transcribed verbatim. Data collection and analysis occurred concurrently. Regular team meetings were held to identify recurrent themes, explore patients’ underlying reasoning, discuss deviant cases, and identify new research questions.


First contact. Before diagnosis, more than half of patients …

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  • For correspondence: Dr J Lawton, College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine, University of Edinburgh Medical School, Edinburgh, UK.

  • Sources of funding: Scottish Executive Health Department and Health Education Board for Scotland.