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Res Theory Nurs Pract. 2004 Winter;18(4):293-316.

Testing a conceptual framework for diabetes self-care management.

Author information

  • 1North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, Greensboro, NC 27411, USA. vdsousa@ncat.edu


Diabetes is a major source of morbidity, mortality, and economic expense in the United States. The majority of researchers and clinicians believe that diabetes is a self-care management disease, and that patients should be reliable, capable, and sufficiently responsible to take care of themselves. However, individuals with diabetes may or may not have diabetes knowledge, social support, self-care agency (an individual's capability to perform self-care actions), and self-efficacy (an individual's beliefs in his or her capability to perform self-care actions) that would help them to engage in diabetes self-care management. Therefore, this study examined the relationship among those factors using a cross-sectional model testing design. A convenient sample of 141 insulin-requiring individuals with either diabetes type 1 or type 2, 21 years old and over, was recruited from an outpatient diabetes care center located in a Southeast region of the United States. Simple linear regression, multiple standard regression, and multiple hierarchical regression were used to analyze the data. Individuals with greater diabetes knowledge had greater self-care agency and self-efficacy. Those with a higher score in social support had greater self-care agency and better diabetes self-care management, and those with greater self-efficacy had better diabetes self-care management. In addition, self-care agency mediated the effects of diabetes knowledge on self-efficacy and the effects of social support on diabetes self-care management. Self-efficacy mediated the effects of self-care agency on diabetes self-care management. Furthermore, the linear combination of diabetes knowledge, social support, self-care agency, and self-efficacy, taken together, positively affected diabetes self-care management. Enhancing an individual's diabetes knowledge, social support, self-care agency, and self-efficacy may be a strategy which can promote better engagement in diabetes self-care.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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