Patients with type 2 diabetes who have supportive family members have a better chance of achieving glycemic control vs. those whose family members exhibit nonsupportive behavior.
“Our findings suggest a new direction for future work to develop effective family-based interventions for adults with diabetes,” the researchers wrote.
Lindsay S. Mayberry, MS, and Chandra Y. Osborn, PhD, MPH, both from Vanderbilt University, used a mixed-methods approach to examine the role of family support as it relates to self-care behavior of family members with diabetes.
For 6 months, the researchers recruited English-speaking adults diagnosed with type 2 diabetes who were taking glucose-lowering diabetes medication. Of 75 participants, 45 (61%) attended a focus group session, and the remainder was given the opportunity to answer a survey. Sixteen additional patients completed the survey.
The researchers conducted 11 focus groups with two to six patients, including a 60-minute discussion and 20- to 30-minute survey. Patients were asked about their medication adherence, experience and attitudes toward health information to manage their condition, as well as ideas for improving self-care.
Results revealed that 34% of the sample had uncontrolled glycemia, and 45 focus group patients described their family members as “somewhat informed about diabetes,” the researchers wrote.
According to the data, advancing age was related to nonsupportive family behavior (P<.05), and patients with higher incomes were more likely to have supportive family members (P<.05). Education, marriage and race were also associated with variables of interest.
The researchers concluded that many patients said they felt sabotaged by uninformed family members, thus creating conflict and interfering with self-care behavior.
Future qualitative research should be developed to determine relevant nonsupportive family behaviors, the researchers said.
Disclosure: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.