Illness and Treatment Perceptions Are Associated With Adherence to Medications, Diet, and Exercise in Diabetic Patients
- 1Department of Psychological Medicine, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, The University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
- 2Brain and Mind Research Institute, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia
- 3Section for Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, University of Marburg, Marburg, Germany
- Corresponding author: Elizabeth Broadbent, .
OBJECTIVE To investigate diabetic patients’ perceptions of illness and treatments, and explore relationships to adherence and blood glucose control.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS Forty-nine type 1 and one hundred and eight type 2 diabetic patients completed questionnaires assessing illness perceptions, treatment beliefs, and adherence to medications, diet, and exercise. Blood glucose control was assessed from blood tests.
RESULTS Patients rated medication more important than diet and exercise, and reported higher adherence to medications. Insulin was perceived as more helpful for diabetes, while antihypertensives and cholesterol medication were perceived more helpful for preventing heart problems. Perceptions were associated with adherence to insulin, cholesterol and antihypertensive medications, exercise, and diet. Blood glucose control in type 1 diabetic patients was associated with insulin adherence and perceived personal control, and in type 2 diabetic patients to being prescribed insulin or antihypertensives, and perceived personal control.
CONCLUSIONS Patients hold specific mental models about diabetes treatments, which are associated with adherence.
- Received September 14, 2010.
- Accepted November 23, 2010.
- © 2011 by the American Diabetes Association.
Readers may use this article as long as the work is properly cited, the use is educational and not for profit, and the work is not altered. See http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/ for details.