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Nursing Research Assignment


There are two main types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2. Type 1 diabetes has peak incidences at age 12 and between 20 and 35 years. It is characterised by such symptoms as polyuria (frequent passing of urine), polydypsia (frequent thirst) and weight loss. It is treated by the injection of insulin together with dietary control (Tuch and Bonnett 2002). Type 2 diabetes is also referred to as late- onset diabetes because it manifests in later adult life. It accounts for approximately 95% of cases of diabetes. It is often treated with dietary control, oral hypoglycaemic medication and sometimes by insulin injections (Bailey and Krentz 2005).

Identify an aspect of care of relevance to the topic area provided – 10%

The chosen area for this assignment is the link between diabetes and physical activity, and the role of the nurse in promoting physical activity for people who have diabetes. There is evidence within the literature to support the contention that physical activity can positively contribute towards the management of diabetes. This is because it helps to lower blood glucose and enhances the action of insulin (Day 2001). Diabetes should not prevent the pursuit of sporting activities, and there are well- known sporting personalities who have diabetes; Steve Redgrave the Olympian rower being a good example. (health.telegraph 2005). There is however, evidence to suggest that people with diabetes are reluctant to engage in regular planned exercise (Frost and Dornhorst 2003). The nurses can play a part in encouraging and educating the individual who has diabetes in order to increase their level of physical activity (Douglas et al 2006).

Systematically evaluate the evidence relating to the identified aspect of care – 60%

The search strategy involved the use of the Athens Access Management System in order to access such databases as The British Nursing Index, MEDLINE, CINAHL and the Cochrane library, The University library was also used in order to conduct a hand search of such relevant journals as The British Journal of Diabetes and Vascular Disease; Diabetic Medicine; Diabetes Care; Journal of Advanced Nursing; Journal of Human Nutrition & Dietetics and the British Medical Journal. As there is quite a lot of information available on the subject of diabetes and physical activity, the search was restricted to articles published since 2000, to ensure recency. The search terms and keywords used were: ‘diabetes’ in combination with ‘exercise’, ‘physical activity’ and ‘nurse’. The search was not restricted to UK articles only, as it was felt that issues relating to diabetes and exercise are transferable globally, and there has been a lot of research conducted in this area on an international scale, which could be valuable in contributing to the body of knowledge applied within a UK context.

Some articles address the preventative function of physical exercise in relation to developing Type 2 diabetes (Allen et al 2007; Jeon et al 2007; Tuomilehto 2007) In relation to prevention, there are research articles which look at the type of interventions that can be used to promote exercise activity among people with diabetes, and peopl