Poor diabetes self-efficacy in older adults is linked to psychological distress, and patients’ race/ethnicity may moderate the correlation between diabetes self-efficacy and psychological distress, according to recently published data in the Journal of Aging and Health.
“We found clear evidence that the low level of diabetes self-efficacy was associated with the experience of psychological distress regardless of race/ethnicity and that patients’ racial and ethnic backgrounds moderated the relation between diabetes self-care and psychological distress among older patients with diabetes,” Giyeon Kim, PhD, of the department of psychology, at the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, and colleagues wrote.
To assess the correlation between diabetes self-efficacy and psychological distress among racially diverse older adults, researchers analyzed data from the 2009 California Health Interview Survey. Participants (n = 3,067) were aged 60 years and older, had diabetes and were grouped into one of five different ethnic/racial groups: non-Hispanic white (70.2%); African American (6.9%); Hispanic/Latino (11%); Asian (10%); and American Indian/Alaskan Native (1.9%).
To evaluate self-efficacy, all participants were asked about their confidence level regarding their control and management of their diabetes, and were sorted into one of four categories. Participant’s psychological distress was measured using the Kessler-6 scale.
Across all five racial/ethnic groups, black participants and those with high levels of diabetes self-efficacy had the lowest levels of psychological distress (P < .001). Asians and Hispanics/Latinos had the highest levels of correlation between diabetes self-efficacy and psychological distress compared with non-Hispanic whites (P < .001 for all).
The researchers noted that improving patient’s self-efficacy regarding their diabetes may be helpful in decreasing the racial and ethnic gaps in diabetes management and care outcomes.
“Researchers should consider developing racial/ethnic-specific intervention strategies to enhance diabetes self-efficacy, as well as new, innovative ways to improve minority diabetic patients’ psychological well-being,” Kim and colleagues wrote. – by Casey Hower
Disclosure: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.