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PsychologyOur news, events & seminars

Illness representations in people with multi-morbid diabetes and depression Seminar

Speaker Jenny McSharry
16:30 - 17:30
13 December 2010
School of Psychology, Room 3031, Shackleton Building (Building 44), University of Southampton, Highfield, Southampton, SO17 1BJ

For more information regarding this seminar, please telephone Nicky Baverstock on 02380 59 2327 or email .

Event details

Diabetes with depression is common with 20% of people with diabetes also suffering from depression. Despite the prevalence of this multi-morbidity, and the associated challenges, much of the existing literature is concentrated on single conditions in isolation.

This seminar will focus on a qualitative interview study conducted with 17 people with diabetes and depression. Face-to-face semi-structured interviews were carried out to explore participants’ representations and management of their multi-morbidity. Data was audio-taped, transcribed, and analysed using an inductive thematic analysis and elements of grounded theory.

Participants’ representations of the relationship between diabetes and depression were identified as the core category in the data. Not all participants saw their diabetes and depression as related and, when they did, different types of relationships and interactions were described. Participants also differed in their preferred management styles and the role of representations in patient self-management will be discussed.

 A preliminary model of illness representations and self-management in people with diabetes and depression will also be presented. This model is currently being used to inform the design of a measure of illness representations in this population.

Discussion Points

How to incorporate multi-morbidity into health psychology models of illness perceptions?

How to design good questionnaire items for the complex area of representations of multi-morbidity?

How best to recruit a variety of participants to allow testing and refining of the questionnaire with a wide range of people

Promoting the application of psychology to alleviate health problems in clinical populations
CAHP Research group

Speaker information

Jenny McSharry,Postgraduate research student (Health Psychology), School of Psychology, University of Southampton

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