A qualitative enquiry of hypoglycemia and the social determinants of health: The InHypo-DM study, Canada.

Introduction: A significant body of research exists on the impact of the social determinants of health (SDoHs) on diabetes care and general health outcomes. However, less is known about health care practitioners’ (HCPs’) perspectives and experiences regarding the impact of the SDoHs on their patients with Type I and Type 2 diabetes mellitus and how this affects the prevention and treatment of hypoglycemia. Method: A descriptive qualitative study, derived from the InHypo-DM (Canada) research program. A purposive sampling technique was used to recruit participants residing in southwestern Ontario, Canada, for a 30- to 45-min semistructured interview. Individual and team analysis of interviews was conducted to identify overarching and subthemes. Twenty HCP participants, including endocrinologists, family physicians, and allied health care practitioners, were recruited. Seven were Certified Diabetes Educators. Results: Participants articulated 2 overarching components of the SDoHs: patients’ socioeconomic issues and psychosocial issues. They highlighted two socioeconomic issues: occupation type and poverty. Participants also emphasized 3 areas pertaining to patients’ psychosocial issues: stage in the life cycle (e.g., elderly), social isolation, and mental health. Discussion: This study emphasizes the need for conducting detailed and comprehensive social histories during clinical diabetes assessments, as well as the necessity of adequate clinical time and resources for HCPs and patients to address these issues in the context of hypoglycemia management. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved)