Chronic disease management relies upon ‘patient-centred care’, encompassing constructive relationships between health professionals and patients to facilitate self-management. Barriers to self-management within a tertiary setting are poorly explained because traditional service reviews often focus on health outcomes rather than health care experiences.
This exploratory study aimed to investigate patients’ perceptions of their disease management journey, including their experiences with tertiary health care professionals. Discovery interviews were independently conducted with patients from a tertiary diabetes outpatient department. Discovery interviews encompass a patient-centred technique to facilitate participants to openly share their experiences or ‘story’. Thematic analysis was conducted by applying a constant comparative approach to generate themes.
The patient accounts challenge the current management approach and highlight a disconnect between consumers and the healthcare system.The experiences of these patients suggest that an innovative transformation of chronic disease ambulatory care is needed to better engage consumers in ‘patient-centred care’, overcome patient disconnect with a didactic system, improve self management behaviours and ultimately improve health outcomes.