Patients' intentions to inform relatives about Type 2 diabetes risk: The role of worry in the process of family risk disclosure

Department of Medical Psychology, EMGO Institute for Health and Care Research,, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam.
Diabetic Medicine (Impact Factor: 3.12). 12/2012; 29(12). DOI: 10.1111/dme.12029

ABSTRACT AimsPatients with Type 2 diabetes may play a role as intermediary between medical professionals and at-risk relatives to promote diabetes prevention in their family. This study aimed to further our understanding of factors that influence the decisional process of familial risk disclosure in patients with diabetes. Methods
In a cross-sectional study, patients with Type 2 diabetes (n = 546) filled in a questionnaire assessing family risk perception, worry, personal beliefs regarding diabetes prevention, diabetes-related family communication, intention and perceived ability to inform relatives about familial risk of diabetes. Data were analysed using hierarchical logistic regression and multiple mediation analyses. ResultsSixty per cent of the patients were willing to inform their relatives about familial diabetes risk; 61% reported high family risk perception and 41% had positive control beliefs with regard to preventive options in relatives. A majority (69%) did not express serious concern about relatives developing diabetes. Worry about relatives, knowing what to tell, whom to notify, and communication about diabetes in general appeared to facilitate family risk disclosure. Unexpectedly, high family risk perception in itself did not significantly increase patients’ intentions to inform relatives; rather, risk perception appeared to exert an indirect effect through worry and beliefs about diabetes prevention. Conclusions
Worry in patients with diabetes appears to be a key factor in the process of family risk disclosure. When professionals guide their patients in this process, they should not only provide risk information, but also address worries and emphasize opportunities for diabetes prevention.

5 Reads
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In the fight against the type 2 diabetes epidemic, patients might be asked to discuss familial susceptibility to type 2 diabetes in their family. Illness representations of patients (N = 546) were assessed to explore their impact on perceived type 2 diabetes threat in relatives. Reporting high type 2 diabetes burden, emotional impact and perceiving type 2 diabetes as an inheritable disease seemed to increase patients' family risk perception and worries about relatives' future health. Patients with coherent illness understanding reported positive beliefs regarding type 2 diabetes prevention in relatives. Findings may give direction in how illness representations may be used to guide patients in the process of family risk disclosure.
    Journal of Health Psychology 02/2013; 19(3). DOI:10.1177/1359105312470853 · 1.88 Impact Factor