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Psychol Health. 2015;30(11):1274-87. doi: 10.1080/08870446.2015.1045511. Epub 2015 Jun 1.

Illness perceptions and self-care behaviours in the first years of living with type 2 diabetes; does the presence of complications matter?

Author information

1
a NIVEL, The Netherlands Institute for Health Services Research , Utrecht , The Netherlands.
2
b Julius Center for Health Sciences and Primary Care , University Medical Center Utrecht , Utrecht , The Netherlands.
3
c Department of General Practice & Elderly Care Medicine , EMGO Institute for Health and Care Research, VU University Medical Center , Amsterdam , The Netherlands.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To assess illness perceptions, self-care behaviours and their relationship in recently diagnosed type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) patients with and without diabetes-related complications.

DESIGN:

Cross-sectional survey among 192 recently diagnosed T2DM patients of whom 23% reported the presence of diabetes-related complications. Illness perceptions and self-care were assessed by the Revised Illness Perception Questionnaire (IPQ-R) and the revised Summary of Diabetes Self-Care Activities (SDSCA) measure.

RESULTS:

Generally, participating patients perceived T2DM as a chronic, but relatively controllable condition with minor consequences. In the presence of complications, however, T2DM was perceived as more unpredictable with more (serious) consequences and less controllable by self-care or medical treatment. Furthermore, engagement in exercise and foot care was reported more often by patients with complications. Self-care was related to certain illness perception dimensions, and interactions between perceptions and complications were found.

CONCLUSION:

T2DM patients in the first years of their illness are often recommended to make lifestyle changes in the absence of noticeable diabetes-related symptoms or complaints. As many T2DM patients do not seem to perceive their condition to be serious and postpone lifestyle changes until diabetes-related complications appear, a major challenge for professionals is to convince asymptomatic patients of the importance of self-care.

KEYWORDS:

complications; illness perceptions; self-care; type 2 diabetes mellitus

PMID:
25925788
DOI:
10.1080/08870446.2015.1045511
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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