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Table 1 Characteristics of papers included in the review

From: The influence of social networks on self-management support: a metasynthesis

Study Country Method Sample SM focus Network Study details
      Partner Children Family Group Personal community  
Miller and Davis (2005) [21] US Focus groups; thematic analysis Adults 21-65 with type 2 diabetes; White Americans General      * To examine the social support received by people with diabetes and its role in managing diabetes.
High level of education
Sparud-Lundin et al. (2010) [22] Sweden Individual interviews, constant comparative analysis 13 young adults, and 13 parents, internet communication between young people on diabetes website also included in analysis General      * To explore the meaning of interactions and support from parents and other significant others for young adults with type 1 diabetes.
White et al. (2007) [23] Ireland Focus groups, thematic content analysis 4 patients with good HbA1C control) and 4 family members, median age 75; and 5 patients with poor HbA1C control) and 6 family members, median age 67; Older adults, type 2 diabetes General    *    To explore the beliefs, attitudes and perceptions of adults with type 2 diabetes and their family members.
Beverly et al (2008) [24] US Focus groups; thematic analysis 30 couples (person with diabetes and spouse); Middle-aged and older adults Dietary changes *      To determine how aspects of the spousal relationship translate into behaviour changes, especially adherence to a healthy diet.
Stone et al. (2005) [25] UK Semi-structured interviews; framework analysis 20 respondents with diabetes; South Asians General      * To explore the experience and attitudes of primary care patients with diabetes living in a UK community with a high proportion of South Asian patients of Indian origin, with particular reference to patient empowerment.
White British
Gorawara-Bhat et al. (2008) [26] US Open ended semi-structured interviews; thematic analysis 28 people with diabetes (66-87 years); African A General      * To explore the role of social comparison with peers/family members in the self-management practices of older diabetes patients.
Women
(predominantly)
Chesla and Chun (2005) [27] US Group interviews, narrative and thematic analysis 20 participants (person with diabetes and spouses) representing 16 families; Chinese Americans General    *    To describe family responses to type 2 diabetes in Chinese Americans as reported by people with diabetes and spouses.
Beverly and Wray (2010) [28] US Focus groups; thematic analysis 30 couples (persons with diabetes and spouses); Middle-aged and older adults Exercise adherence *      To illuminate the potentially key role of collective efficacy in exercise adherence in order to develop and test interventions that provides more effective support for adults with diabetes.
Laroche et al. (2009) [29] US Semi-structured interviews; thematic analysis 24 adults (19 parents and 5 grandparents) with diabetes and child (10-17 years), and 24 children (12 male and 12 female); African A General   *     To examine the role of children in their parents’ diabetes self-management, diet and exercise.
Latinos
(inner city)
Gallant et al. (2007) [30] US Focus groups; thematic analysis 13 focus groups with 84 (65 years or older) with arthritis, diabetes, and/or heart disease; African A General      * To contribute to knowledge about older adults with chronic illness by identifying positive and negative influences of family and friends on self-management.
White A
Carter-Edwards et al. (2004) [31] US Focus groups; thematic analysis 3 focus groups, 12 African American women with diabetes (average age 49.3); African A General    *    To evaluate the relationship between perceived social support among African American women with type 2 diabetes and self-management.
Women
Ruston et al. (2013) [32] UK Semi-structured interviews; constant comparative method 43 respondents (23 female and 20 male); Work environment, employees General     *   To explore the perceptions and experiences of employees with diabetes.
Jones et al. (2008) [33] US Focus groups; thematic analysis 21 people with diabetes 6 and family members/friends (27-85 years); African Americans General      * To examine the impact of family and friends on the management of persons with diabetes.
Sarkadi and Rosenqvist (2002) [34] Sweden Individual interviews and focus groups, thematic analysis 5 interviews and 5 focus groups with 38 women, 44-80; Women General      * To systematically investigate the conflicting demands of social network involvement with illness management on women’s type 2 diabetes.
Essue et al. (2010) [35] Australia Semi-structured interviews; qualitative content analysis 14 carers (45-85 years) of people with chronic heart failure, COPD, and diabetes General    *    To describe the family careers’ contribution to the self-management partnership and To identify policy and practice implications that are relevant to improving the support available for informal care in Australia.
Laroche et al. (2008) [36] US Semi-structured interviews; thematic analysis 29 interviews (14 adult-child pairs and one child); African A Diet   *     To explore how adults with diabetes attempting to change their own diets approached providing food for their children and how their children reacted to dietary changes in the household.
Latinos
(inner city)
Kohinor et al. (2011) [37] Netherlands Semi-structured interviews; grounded theory 32 diabetes patients (36-70 years); Surinamese Disclosure      * To explore why diabetes patients from ethnic minority populations either share or do not share their condition with people in their wider social network.
Kokanovic and Manderson (2006) [38] Australia In-depth interviews; thematic analysis 16 immigrant women with type 2 diabetes; Immigrant women General      * To elucidate the social meanings and interpretations that immigrant women attach to the diagnosis of type 2 diabetes, and the social support and professional advice they receive following this diagnosis.
Greek, Chinese, Tongan, Indian
Atkinson et al. (2009) [39] US Focus groups, grounded theory 4 focus groups in churches in south-eastern US, 3 with church leaders and one with programme participants; African Americans Healthy lifestyle; diabetes prevention     *   To explore church members’ perspectives of implementation of church-based diabetes prevention programme with African American churches.
Church members
Chlebowy et al. (2010) [40] US Focus groups; content analysis, thematic analysis 38 adults (27 women, 11 men), 44-87 years, 7 focus groups; African Americans General      * To identify facilitators and barriers to self-management of type 2 diabetes mellitus among urban African American adults.
Jepson et al. (2012) [41] UK In-depth interviews and focus groups; thematic analysis using both inductive and deductive coding 59 purposefully selected Bangladeshi, Indian, and Pakistani; and 10 key informants; South Asians Physical activity      * To explore the motivating and facilitating factors likely to increase physical activity for South Asian adults and their families.
Pistulka et al. (2012) [42] US Qualitative interviews; constant comparative method 12 participants (8 women and 4 men), 40-65 years, 12 face to face interviews and 6 follow up follow up interviews; Korean American Immigrants General      * To examine the illness experience of Korean American immigrants with diabetes and hypertension.
Shaw et al. (2013) [43] US Focus groups and interviews; thematic analysis 3 focus groups and 5 interviews with 13 adults with type 2 diabetes; American Indian/Alaska Native Adults Diabetes      * To explore perceived psychosocial needs and barriers to management of diabetes among AI/AN adults with type 2 diabetes.
Thompson et al. (2013) [44] Australia Ethnographic and participatory action research; unstructured and semi-structured interviews; thematic analysis 23 purposefully selected community members over 16 years; Indigenous people Physical activity      * To explore and describe local perspectives, experiences and meanings of physical activity in two remote indigenous communities.
Ward et al. (2011) [45] Australia Semi-structured interviews; content thematic analysis Participants with diabetes (17), COPD (3) and/or CHF (11), and family carers (3); Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people General      * To explore the lived experiences and to uncover the ways in which Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with chronic illness experience informal unsolicited support from peers and family members.
  1. *Main focus of network discussion in the paper.