1Trauma Nursing Research Center, Kashan University of Medical Sciences, Kashan, IR Iran
2Department of Nursing, Tarbiat Modarres University, Tehran, IR Iran
3Iranian Diabetes Society, Tehran, IR Iran
4Department of Nursing, Karolinska University, Stockholm, Sweden
Background Managing diabetes requires changes in the patients’ life style and health habits which in turn need the comprehensive understanding of the disease and its impact. Objectives To understand the explanatory model of diabetes in Iran, a qualitative study was performed using the grounded theory method. Patients and Methods Thirty persons were interviewed: fifteen patients, eleven nurses, three physicians and one dietitian. The semi-structured interviews were transcribed and analyzed in three stages of open, axial and selective coding. Results The findings showed that patients’ personality can shape their self-care behavior; however, curing, caring and supporting systems are also necessary. The interactions between personality, curing, caring and supporting systems and society makes the outcome, which is the core variable in the designed explanatory model of diabetes. Conclusions This paper reflects an explanatory model of diabetes management. Understanding the factors that affect self-management behavior is important for nurses as key providers in the health care system.