Publication Date



Open access

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PHD)


Nursing (Nursing)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Doris Noel Ugarriza

Second Committee Member

John G. Ryan

Third Committee Member

Denise Korniewicz

Fourth Committee Member

Rosemary Hall


The purpose of this study was to analyze the experiences of self-monitoring of blood glucose (SMBG) usage of adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) who are not using insulin. The sample consisted of 11 women and 8 men who were Caucasian Americans, 38 to 79 years of age. Data were analyzed using the grounded theory method including open and axial coding and the constant comparative method. The theory of "SMBG as a Cue in T2DM Self-Care" emerged from the data and is composed of four categories (a) Engaging, (b) Checking, (c) Responding, and (d) Establishing a Pattern. Engaging marks the beginning of SMBG. Participants began on the recommendation of their physician and monitored between 2-6 times a day. Participants monitored because of curiosity and over time reduced or kept their initial frequency. Checking occurs when the blood glucose is obtained. Two subcategories emerged: Evaluating and Validating. The main items participants evaluated or validated were the effects of foods in relation to blood glucose levels. Responding involves reacting to SMBG. Two subcategories emerged: Taking Action and Experiencing Emotion. Most actions involved changing foods consumed. Participants described feeling conflicted and "being bad" when not following through with an action. Emotions such as blame and fear were experienced when blood glucose levels were higher than normal, while happiness was experienced with normal levels. Establishing a Pattern occurs when participants decide on how often to monitor. Two subcategories emerged: Using Regularly and Using Sporadically. The pattern developed was based on obtaining "normal" blood glucose patterns or on the absence of ill symptoms of T2DM. Healthcare provider disinterest in SMBG and fingertip pain contributed to a decreased monitoring frequency. Participants described cyclical, iterative episodes of Checking, Responding, and varying their established patterns throughout their experiences with monitoring. Participants discussed the value and struggles of SMBG in a T2DM self-care regimen. The theory of SMBG as a Cue in T2DM Self-Care could be used to guide the development of effective intervention strategies to help individuals with T2DM achieve blood glucose control which, in turn, leads to avoidance of ill symptoms and complications of T2DM.


Self-Monitoring Of Blood Glucose Psychosocial Expe; Self-monitoring Of Blood Glucose Practice; Self-monitoring Of Blood Glucose Process