237756 Does Length of Time Living With Illness Predict Illness Identity?: Predicting Self-as-Doer Identity in Persons with Type II Diabetes

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Amanda M. Brouwer, MS , Department of Psychology, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI
Kaite E. Mosack, PhD , Department of Psychology, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI
Background: Having an identity as the “doer” of one's self-care behaviors (SCBs; i.e.,Self-as-Doer identity) has been associated with increased SCBs among individuals with diabetes (Author,2008;2010). However, factors influencing the development of a self-as-doer identity in persons with Type II diabetes mellitus (T2DM) have not been adequately examined. Previous research suggests that the length of time one has had a chronic illness may affect the degree to which one identifies with it (Baumgartner, 2007). Therefore we predict that regardless of age at diagnosis, marital status, education, ethnicity and gender, the length of time that one has had T2DM will be associated with a stronger self-as-doer identity. Methods: 187 adults with T2DM completed self-report psychosocial and behavioral measures. A multiple linear regression in which age at diagnosis, martial status, education, ethnicity, gender and length of time with diabetes were simultaneously entered was computed to determine if time since diagnosis would independently predict self-as-doer identity. Results: Time since diagnosis was not a significant predictor of self-as-doer identity. However, age at diagnosis significantly predicted self-as-doer identity (B=.01, t(102)=2.56,p=.01). Discussion: Contrary to our hypothesis, findings suggest that age at diagnosis and not time living with diabetes is related to a SCB doer identity in persons with T2DM. A diagnosis later in life is associated with a stronger degree of self-as-doer identity. Given previous research demonstrating an association between self-as-doer identity and increased SCBs, results may allow clinicians and health care professionals to tailor intervention strategies based on age at diagnosis to improve diabetes self-as-doer identity.

Learning Areas:
Chronic disease management and prevention
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify factors influencing disease-related identity in persons with type II diabetes mellitus. 2. Articulate the effect of age at diagnosis on self-as-doer identity in persons with type II diabetes. 3. Describe how interventions focusing on doer identification for persons diagnosed with type II diabetes at a younger age might address motivation to perform diabetes-related self-care behaviors.

Keywords: Health Behavior, Chronic Illness

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I was the principle investigator of this research. I designed and carried out the research. Furthermore, I analyzed the data and prepared the abstract. Moreover, I am the primary researcher of diabetes self-care behaviors in our research lab. This area is my specialty.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.