Background: Patients with diabetes and cancer have higher mortality and morbidity rates, and are more likely to be hospitalized during treatment. In addition, they often prioritize cancer treatment over self-management of diabetes.
Objectives: This research aims to identify the issues regarding the management of diabetes in patients with cancer by examining the perspectives of oncology providers, nurses, and patients.
Methods: This study used six focus groups of oncology providers, nurses, and patients with preexisting diabetes who received chemotherapy for a solid tumor or lymphoma. Participants were recruited from two outpatient cancer centers in Michigan. All focus group discussions were audio recorded and transcribed, and thematic analysis was conducted to identify common themes.
Findings: Three overarching themes were identified by patients, nurses, and oncologists: prioritization and responsibility, care coordination, and health/self-management. This study highlighted areas for improvement in the management of patients with preexisting diabetes being treated with chemotherapy. Additional research is needed to test interventions that improve care coordination and self-management in this population.