Health Services Research & Development

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Lee AA, Piette JD, Heisler M, Janevic MR, Rosland AM. Diabetes self-management and glycemic control: The role of autonomy support from informal health supporters. Health psychology : official journal of the Division of Health Psychology, American Psychological Association. 2019 Feb 1; 38(2):122-132.
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Abstract: OBJECTIVE: Effective diabetes self-management can prevent long-term health complications but is often complex and difficult to achieve. Health care professionals'' support for patients'' autonomy (autonomy support) in managing their diabetes contributes to better diabetes self-care and glycemic control. Most adults with diabetes also receive self-management support from informal health supporters. Yet, the role of autonomy support from these informal health supporters has not been explored. We examined patients'' perceived autonomy support from their main health supporter (family member or friend) in relation to their diabetes distress, self-efficacy, self-monitoring of blood glucose (SMBG), medication adherence, and hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c). METHOD: Three hundred twenty-six veterans with Type 2 diabetes at high risk for complications, who identified a main health supporter, were surveyed using self-report measures of social support, diabetes distress, self-efficacy, and self-care. HbA1c and prescription fill data were extracted from VA electronic records for the 12-months before and after the survey. Linear regression and linear mixed models examined the associations of autonomy support with diabetes distress, self-efficacy, SMBG, medication adherence, and glycemic control, controlling for participant-supporter relationship characteristics and patient-factors. RESULTS: In adjusted models, greater autonomy support was associated with lower diabetes distress (B = -.323, SE = .098, p = .001), greater self-efficacy (B = .819, SE = .148, p < .001), more frequent SMBG (B = .297, SE = .082, p < .001), and better subsequent 12-month glycemic control (B = .257, SE = .085, p = .003) but not with medication adherence (B = .001, SE = .020, p = .994). CONCLUSIONS: Autonomy support from main health supporters is significantly associated better diabetes related attitudes, self-care, and glycemic control after adjusting for relationship and patient characteristics. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved).