Abstract

Introduction: Health is an exclusive and subjective phenomenon, and one of the most important situations with regard to perception of health, arises when patients suffer from a chronic disease. 

This study was conducted within the qualitative research framework and aimed to explore the meanings of health as perceived by a group of Iranian diabetic patients.

Methods: A descriptive qualitative analysis design was used. Data were collected through semi-structured interviews with 20 participants among diabetic patients, who were admitted to the diabetes care centre of Tohid Hospital of the Kurdistan University of Medical Sciences, Sanandaj, Iran during a ten-month period in 2014. Interviews were transcribed and analysed through conventional content analysis. 

Results: Based on the findings of the study, three major health-related themes emerged: 1) the syndrome of the healthy body and the happy heart (physical well-being vivacity, satisfaction, and calmness of the mind), 2) life without compulsory limitations (lack of dietary limitations, No activity limitations, lack of social limitations), and 3) exalted spirituality (satisfying self and others, trusting God, remembering God).

Conclusion: Health care providers should consider the meaning of health in special groups, chiefly in patients with chronic diseases. It facilitates the development of appropriate programmes to improve desirable health levels among diabetic patients.

 

Keywords: Diabetes Mellitus, Health, Nursing, Qualitative Research
 
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