Applying a Solution-Focused Approach to Life With Diabetes: Insights Gleaned via Twitter

Deborah A. Greenwood, Tami A. Ross, Elizabeth Reifsnider

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to explore responses of people with diabetes (PWD) when exposed to a solution-focused brief therapy (SFBT) approach. This approach focuses on solutions rather than the problems and what is desired in life rather than what will not occur. Methods: Ten SFBT questions were presented for discussion during 1 hour of a Twitter chat on November 14, 2018, during a World Diabetes Day multiple-hour chat. Verbatim transcripts of Twitter data were downloaded from Symplur Signals LLC. Thirty-two participants from 4 countries created 358 tweets, 118 retweets, and 1.5 million impressions. A qualitative content analysis was then completed. Results: Five themes emerged regarding the desired future state: more living life, laughter and humor, self-compassion, resilience, and support. There was an overwhelming sense of burden associated with diabetes yet a global feeling of hope, acceptance, and being “capable” to manage diabetes. Conclusion: Employing SFBT, asking future-directed questions with a focus on solutions and the desired state, generated impactful insights around life with diabetes. Diabetes care and education specialists can incorporate SFBT as a tool to focus diabetes care, education, and support in partnership with PWD. Use of SFBT in diabetes demonstrates potential to strengthen resilience and confidence needed to manage this challenging condition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)485-494
Number of pages10
JournalDiabetes Educator
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Health Professions (miscellaneous)


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