Primary Health Care Research & Development


How do patients with uncontrolled diabetes in the Brussels-Capital Region seek and use information sources for their diet?

Sabrina Meyfroidta1 c1, Daan Aeyelsa2, Chantal Van Audenhovea3, Caroline Verlindea2, Jan Peersa2a4, Massimiliano Panellaa4a5a6 and Kris Vanhaechta4a5a7

a1 Department of Reproduction, Development and Regeneration, Catholic University Leuven, Leuven, Belgium

a2 Huis voor Gezondheid, Brussels, Belgium

a3 Centre for Care Research and Consultancy, Catholic University Leuven, Leuven, Belgium

a4 Centre for Health Services and Nursing Research, School of Public Health, Catholic University Leuven, Leuven, Belgium

a5 European Pathway Association, Leuven, Belgium

a6 Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, University of Eastern Piedmont “A. Avogadro”, Novara, Italy

a7 Western Norway Research Group on Integrated Care, Helse Fonna, Haugesund, Norway


Objective The aim of this study was to obtain qualitative data to understand how type 2 diabetic patients with unregulated blood glucose levels (HbA1c >140 mg/dL) seek and use information sources for their diet.

Methods A descriptive, explorative study design was used with focus group interviews in the Brussels-Capital Region. Each interview was recorded, transcribed literally, and analysed thematically using a grounded theory approach.

Results GPs were the most important information source in this study. GPs and other professionals were considered to be reliable sources of information by the patients. All patients received information passively at diagnosis. Patients that actively sought information differed in their search behaviour and reported they were not sufficiently informed. Some information sources remained unknown to the diabetic patients in this study.

Conclusion Diabetic patients of the Brussels-Capital Region are not well informed about their diet. The main problem is how patients perceived the accessibility of information.

Practice implications Public health strategies are required to promote well-informed, proactive patients supported by healthcare teams.

(Received October 08 2011)

(Revised February 28 2012)

(Accepted April 02 2012)

(Online publication April 30 2012)

Key words

  • Brussels-Capital Region;
  • diet;
  • focus groups;
  • information sources;
  • type 2 diabetes


c1 Correspondence to: Sabrina Meyfroidt, MSc, Department of Reproduction, Development and Regeneration, Catholic University Leuven, Herestraat 49 – Box 7003, B-3000 Leuven, Belgium. Email: