Diabetes Mellitus

Mara Buchbinder used VIA to examine the experiences of young people ages 11-18 who live with diabetes. Mara’s introduction to VIA was as an intern during the school year and over the summer. As a senior at Dartmouth College, she devoted the 2001-2002 academic year to her VIA research and produced her senior thesis, a publication, and multiple presentations from this work. Summarizing the project she was about to undertake, she said,

“As a psychology major at Dartmouth College, and a woman who has had Crohn's disease for the past eight years, I have always had a strong interest in the experience of living with chronic illness. This year, I will pursue my interest through a senior fellowship, a program for independent student research designed to let students explore academic interests which do not fall under the normal Dartmouth curriculum. Using the knowledge and experience I have gained from interning for VIA, my project, "Through Their Eyes: Using Video Technique to Understand Adolescent Diabetes," will use video technology to reveal the personal worlds of the adolescents with diabetes. The goal of the project is to achieve an understanding of the illness experience for young diabetics as it affects their daily lives.

Using VIA, I will study the illness experience of five adolescents with diabetes, ages 11-18, at the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. Participants will be given camcorders and asked to record eight hours of videotape over a four week period. I will view the videotapes and apply theoretical frameworks from medical anthropology, sociology, and psychology, looking for common behavioral patterns and psychological responses in coping and illness maintenance. I will examine how young people manage their diabetes, how they experience their illness on a daily basis, and explore how illness affects their relationships and psychological functioning.”

Mara presented her work at the American Diabetes Association National Conference and published a paper in the Journal of Adolescent Health: Assessing adolescents with insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus: A multiple perspective pilot study using visual illness narratives and interviews.

Related Publications
  • Adolescents with diabetes-mellitus
    • Buchbinder, M. H., Detzer, M. J., Welsch, R. L., Christiano, A. S., Patashnick, J. L., & Rich, M. (2005). Assessing adolescents with insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus: A multiple perspective pilot study using visual illness narratives and interviews. Journal of Adolescent Health, 36(1), 71.e79 –71.e13

 

 

 
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