The Experience of Partners of Adults with Type 1 Diabetes: an Integrative Review

  • Robin Whittemore
  • Roberta Delvy
  • Margaret M. McCarthy
Psychosocial Aspects (SS Jaser, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Psychosocial Aspects


Purpose of Review

The purpose of this review was to synthesize the research on the experience of partners living with adults with type 1 diabetes (T1D).

Recent Findings

Eleven studies were included in the review. Three themes on the experience of living with a person with T1D were identified: the undercurrent of hypoglycemia, partners’ involvement in diabetes care, and the impact on partners’ lives. Due to considerable fear of hypoglycemia, partners had pervasive and deliberate ways in which they made attempts to minimize hypoglycemia in the person with diabetes and its cascade to a health emergency. As a result, partners of adults with T1D experienced considerable distress and disrupted lives. Partners also expressed a need for more support from family, friends, and health professionals.


Research is needed on the partner experience across the lifespan and the specific supportive services they need in order to optimize their health outcomes.


Type 1 diabetes Adults Partners Hypoglycemia Significant others Marriage 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Robin Whittemore, Roberta Delvy, and Margaret M. McCarthy declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robin Whittemore
    • 1
  • Roberta Delvy
    • 1
  • Margaret M. McCarthy
    • 2
  1. 1.Yale School of NursingWest HavenUSA
  2. 2.New York University Rory Meyers College of NursingNew YorkUSA

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