The relationship between psychosocial factors, self-care, and blood sugar in an Appalachian population
Author Area of Expertise
BLS--health services research, health inequities, rural health
SW--data managment, epidemiology
NS--health inequities, rural health
Introduction: Appalachian residents are more likely than other populations to have Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM) and to experience more severe complications from the disease, including excess and premature mortality.
Methods: This study examines health alongside sociodemographic factors, psychosocial factors (including knowledge, empowerment, social support/function, religiosity, distress), and perceived problems in diabetes management that may influence self-care and HbA1c among vulnerable rural residents. A survey of a community–based sample of 356 adults with diagnosed diabetes or HbA1c > 6.5 was conducted in six counties in Appalachian Kentucky.
Results: Findings suggest that neither religiosity nor social support/function mediate/moderate the relationship between psychosocial factors and dependent variables (problem areas in diabetes, T2DM self-care or HbA1c). Results also suggest that distress is a predictor of problem areas in diabetes, and both distress and empowerment are predictors of T2DM self-care.
Implications: This study addresses the gap in the literature concerning the influence of psychosocial factors on problem areas in diabetes, T2DM self-care and HbA1c among vulnerable rural residents, as well as the potential mediating/modifying effects of religiosity and social function/support. Future research is needed to inform strategies for identifying and addressing distress among vulnerable populations burdened by T2DM, including Appalachian adults.
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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Smalls BL, Azam T, Dunfee M, Westgate PM, Westneat SS, Schoenberg N. The relationship between psychosocial factors, self-care, and blood sugar in an Appalachian population. J Appalach Health 2022;4(3): 1–22. DOI: https://doi.org/10.13023/jah.0403.01.
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