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Ethnic Variation in Acceptance of Diabetes and its association with Glycosylated Hemoglobin, Self-Management, Social Support, and Quality of Life

Ranjita Misra, PhD, CHES, Health&Kinesiology Department, Texas A&M University, 4243 TAMU, 158P Read Building, College Station, TX 77843-4243, 979-845-8726, misra@hlkn.tamu.edu

Prevalence and burden of diabetes is disproportionately higher among ethnic minorities than non-Hispanic Whites. This study explores ethnic variation (Hispanic, African American, White, and Asian) in acceptance of diabetes as a disease, and its association with self-management, social support, glycosylated hemoglobin level (A1c), and quality of life among 180 type 2 diabetics. Acceptance, a new construct, is conceptualized as the opposite of denial. Information was collected via telephone interviews and from patientís medical charts by ethnically similar interviewers. The respondents comprised of 36% Hispanics, 27% Whites, 20% Asians, and 18% African Americans, equally distributed by gender, and had a mean age of 55 years (SD+12). Results showed a significant difference (p<.05) in acceptance of diabetes, self-care activities, quality of life, and A1c by ethnic groups. Mexican Americans had the highest A1c (poor control) and difficulty in sugar monitoring and African Americans had lower acceptance and higher difficulty in physical activity as compared to other ethnic groups. A higher level of acceptance was associated with less difficulty with self-care activities, social support, and quality of life. However, acceptance was not significantly correlated with long-term control (A1c). Structural equation modeling was used to determine predictors of long-term control and quality of life. Social support was strongly predictive of acceptance of the disease (b= 0.75); acceptance directly influenced their self-management activities and glycosylated hemoglobin level, and indirectly influenced the quality of life. The path model explained 69% in variance of quality of life. Findings have implication for program interventions.

Learning Objectives:

  • At the conclusion of the session, the participant (learner) in this session will be able to

    Keywords: Diabetes, Ethnicity

    Presenting author's disclosure statement:
    I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

    Disparities and Diabetes

    The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA