Social Support, Quality of Life, and Self-Care Behaviors Among African Americans With Type 2 Diabetes

University of Michigan, Department of Medical Education, University of Michigan Medical School and Michigan Diabetes Research and Training Center, USA.
The Diabetes Educator (Impact Factor: 1.79). 03/2008; 34(2):266-76. DOI: 10.1177/0145721708315680
Source: PubMed


The purpose of this study was to examine social support and its relationship to diabetes-specific quality of life and self-care behaviors in African Americans with type 2 diabetes.
The study followed a cross-sectional, observational design and recruited 89 African American adults, age 40 and older (mean = 60, SD = 10.5), diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Participants completed measures assessing diabetes-specific quality of life, self-care behaviors (healthy eating, physical activity, self-monitoring of blood glucose, foot care, medication and/or insulin use), demographic background, and diabetes-related social support. Diabetes-related social support variables included amount of social support received, satisfaction with support, positive support behavior, negative support behavior, and primary source of support.
Stepwise regressions, controlling for demographic variables, were conducted to identify predictors of diabetes-specific quality of life and self-care behaviors from the diabetes-related social support variables. Satisfaction with support was a predictor for improved diabetes-specific quality of life (r = -.579, P < .001) and blood glucose monitoring (r = .258, P < .05). Positive support behavior was a predictor for following a healthy eating plan (r = .280, P < .05), spacing out carbohydrates evenly throughout the day (r = .367, P < .01), and performing physical activity at least 30 minutes per day (r = .296, P < .05). Negative support behavior was a predictor for not taking medication as recommended (r = -.348, P < .01).
Findings indicate that social support plays a role in diabetes-specific quality of life and self-management practices. Social support encompasses multiple dimensions that differentially influence specific diabetes health-related outcomes and behaviors.

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    • "Recent research has discussed healthcare practitioners' support of diabetes self-management in terms of social support (Gleeson-Kreig et al. 2002, Miller & Davis 2005, Gleeson-Kreig 2008, Rosland et al. 2008, Tang et al. 2008). For instance, Tang et al. (2008) found that more than 40% of participants identified their physician as the person who provided the greatest social support in managing their diabetes. According to Stewart (2000), a social support theorist, social support offered by healthcare practitioners includes emotional, affirmational, informational and tangible attributes. "

    Full-text · Article · Aug 2014 · European Diabetes Nursing
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    • "It is recognised, furthermore, that social support can assist healthy eating and successful dietary change in patients with other diseases (e.g. cardiovascular disease, Type II diabetes) [10,11]. There has been no empirical interview research comparing the impact of different radical and non-radical PC treatments on men’s dietary decisions. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background The diagnosis of prostate cancer (PC) can provide a trigger for dietary change, and there is evidence that healthier diets may improve quality of life and clinical outcomes. However, men’s views about dietary change in PC survivorship are largely unknown. This multi-centre qualitative interview study explored men’s views about dietary change in PC survivorship, to better understand motivations for, and barriers to, achieving desired changes. The role of radical and active surveillance treatments on dietary change and the influence of men’s partners were examined. Focus groups also evaluated stakeholder opinion, including healthcare professionals, about the provision of dietary advice to PC patients. Methods A multi-centre interview study explored views about diet and motivations for, and barriers to, dietary change in men at elevated risk or diagnosed with PC following prostate specific antigen (PSA) testing. 58 men and 11 partners were interviewed. Interviews and focus groups were undertaken with 11 healthcare professionals, 5 patients and 4 partners to evaluate stakeholders’ opinions about the feasibility and acceptability of providing dietary advice to PC patients. Data were analysed using methods of constant comparison and thematic analysis. Results Over half of diagnosed men reported making dietary changes, primarily to promote general or prostate health or facilitate coping, despite their uncertainty about diet-PC links. Interest in dietary advice was high. Information needs varied depending on treatment received, with men on active surveillance more frequently modifying their diet and regarding this as an adjunct therapy. Men considered their partners integral to implementing changes. Provision of dietary advice to men diagnosed with PC was considered by healthcare professionals and men to be feasible and appropriate in the context of a holistic ‘care package’. Conclusions Many men make positive dietary changes after PC diagnosis, which are perceived by men and their partners to bring psychological and general health benefits and could help future dietary intervention trials. Men and their partners desire more and better dietary information that may support PC survivorship, particularly among those embarking on active surveillance/monitoring programmes. There are opportunities for healthcare professionals to support PC patients both clinically and psychologically by the routine integration of healthy eating advice into survivorship care plans.
    Full-text · Article · May 2014 · BMC Family Practice
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    • "African American women are embedded in social networks that influence health decisions and help-seeking behaviour, and there is evidence that their networks are typically large, highly supportive and consist of extended kin (Brown 2008). While past research has already found social support to be an important resource for African American women with severe medical needs, considerably less is known about the effect of African American women's extended kinship networks on their usage of preventative care services (Tang et al. 2008). Utilisation models have highlighted the role of social networks and support more broadly. "
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    ABSTRACT: Research suggests that African Americans are less likely to utilise preventative care services than Americans of European descent, and that these patterns may contribute to racial health disparities in the United States. Despite the persistence of inequalities in preventative care utilisation, culturally relevant factors influencing the use of these gateway health services have been understudied among marginalised groups. Using a stratified sample of 205 low-income African American women, this research examines the predictors of receiving a physical exam, with a particular emphasis on how differing levels of social support from friend and family networks and experiences of racial discrimination and cultural mistrust shape utilisation. The findings underscore the importance of traditional predictors of utilisation, including insurance status and having a usual physician. However, they also indicate that supportive ties to friendship networks are associated with higher predicted rates of having an annual physical exam, while social support from family and sentiments of cultural mistrust are associated with lower rates of utilisation. Broadly, the findings indicate that even as traditional predictors of help-seeking become less relevant, it will be critical to explore how variations in discrimination experiences and social relationships across marginalised groups drive patterns of preventative care utilisation.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2014 · Sociology of Health & Illness
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