Nonsupportive Family Members Sabotage Diabetes Self-Care

(HealthDay News) – Diabetes patients with nonsupportive family members are less adherent to their diabetes medication regimen and have worse glycemic control.

Lindsay S. Mayberry, and Chandra Y. Osborn, PhD, MPH, from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN, conducted focus group sessions with 45 adults with type 2 diabetes regarding barriers and enablers to diabetes management. They also conducted a survey among 61 adults with type 2 diabetes to collect demographic information and information on medication adherence, family members’ diabetes self-care knowledge, and diabetes-specific supportive and nonsupportive behaviors of family members. The most recent glycated hemoglobin levels were obtained from medical records.

The researchers found that perceiving family members as knowledgeable about diabetes correlated with perceiving that family members performed more diabetes-specific supportive behaviors. Perceiving family members as performing nonsupportive behaviors was associated with being less adherent to diabetes medication regimens, which correlated with worse glycemic control.

“Participants emphasized the importance of instrumental help for diabetes self-care behaviors and reported that nonsupportive family behaviors sabotaged their efforts to perform these behaviors,” the authors write. “Interventions should inform family members about diabetes and enhance their motivation and behavioral skills around not interfering with one’s diabetes self-care efforts.”

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