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Int J Behav Med. 2008;15(3):173-9. doi: 10.1080/10705500802212940.

Do patients' beliefs about type 2 diabetes differ in accordance with complications: an investigation into diabetic foot ulceration and retinopathy.

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Department of Social Medicine, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK.



Previous research has examined patients' beliefs in diabetes and how these beliefs may affect patient outcomes. However, changes in symptoms and complications are a common feature of diabetes, and these can significantly alter the patient's "disease experience." However, no consideration has been given to how beliefs about diabetes vary according to the complications patients have.


The present study was designed to compare the beliefs of 22 patients with diabetic foot ulcers and 22 age-and gender-matched patients with diabetic retinopathy, and 22 age-and gender-matched controls with type 2 diabetes but without either complication.


Beliefs about diabetes were assessed with the Revised Illness Perception Questionnaire (IPQ-R; Moss-Morris et al., 2002).


Patients with foot ulcers held a greater belief in personal control of diabetes, but perceived treatment control was lower than that of diabetic controls without serious complications (p < .05). Patients with foot ulcers also demonstrated less illness coherence than patients with retinopathy and diabetic controls (p < .01) and also perceived their diabetes to be more cyclical in nature (p < .01).


Differences were found in diabetic patients' beliefs according to their complications. Future interventions should consider how the complications associated with diabetes may affect patients' beliefs and subsequent emotional and behavioral responses to the disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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