Diabetes Self-care in Education: Mapping Educational Policy and Empirical Research

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Cousins, Sean
Diabetes , Self-care , Educational policy , Duty of Care , Diabetes Management
Diabetes Mellitus (DM) is a chronic metabolic disorder that affects many people worldwide. Despite the prevalence of DM in Canada, few studies have examined the impact of DM in education, especially in relation to the development of self-care at school. Diabetes self-care is a learned behaviour that individuals with DM develop in partnership with others in the context of their daily lives (Vallis, Higgens-Bowser, Scott, Murray, & Edwards, 2004). It refers to coping with the chronic illness in the pursuit of implementing a diabetes management regimen—making healthy food choices, participating in daily physical exercise, monitoring glucose levels, and taking medication as prescribed by the physician to achieve glycemic control and emotional wellbeing. This paper explores the configuration of diabetes management in Canadian public education systems and describes the educational policy context in which diabetes self-care emerges into being through the agency of key health and educational stakeholders. Future studies that map how Canadian educational practitioners work to support the development of self-care, while giving expression to a socially organized practice of diabetes management at school, can yield fresh insight on an underexplored domain of social science research.
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