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Association between coping mechanisms and adherence to diabetes-related self-care activities: a cross-sectional study

Authors Albai A, Sima A, Papava I, Roman D, Andor B, Gafencu M

Received 21 April 2017

Accepted for publication 13 June 2017

Published 17 July 2017 Volume 2017:11 Pages 1235—1241


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Johnny Chen

Alin Albai,1 Alexandra Sima,1 Ion Papava,2 Deiana Roman,1 Bogdan Andor,3 Mihai Gafencu4

1Second Department of Internal Medicine, 2Department of Neurosciences, 3Department of Orthopedics, 4Department of Pediatrics, Victor Babeş University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Timisoara, Romania

Abstract: In the overall management of the most chronic diseases, including diabetes mellitus (DM), adherence to recommended disease-related self-care activities is of paramount importance. The diagnosis and presence of a chronic disease may be considered a difficult and stressful situation in life, a situation in which coping mechanisms are psychological processes developed at a conscious level to manage these situations. This study aimed to explore the possible relationship between the dominance of one of the four major coping styles and adherence to diabetes-related self-care activities (DRSCAs) in the population of patients with type 2 DM (T2DM). In a cross-sectional consecutive-case population-based study design, 126 patients previously diagnosed with T2DM were enrolled. Coping mechanisms were evaluated using the Cope scale inventory, which identifies the dominant coping mechanism: problem-, emotion-, social support-, or avoidance-focused. The quality of DRSCA was evaluated using the summary of diabetes self-care activities questionnaire, in which a higher score was associated with improved adherence. In the study cohort, 45 patients (35.7%) had problem-focused coping, 37 (29.4%) had emotion-focused coping, 32 (25.4%) social support-focused coping, and 12 (9.5%) had avoidance-focused coping. Patients with emotion-focused coping had the highest level (P=0.02) of DRSCA (median 44 points), followed by patients with social support-focused coping (median 40 points) and problem-focused coping (median 36 points), while patients with avoidance-focused coping had the lowest SDSCA total score (33 points). The type of dominant coping mechanism has a significant impact on the quality of the DRSCA measures implemented by the patient to manage their diabetes. Patients with emotion-focused and social support-focused coping styles tend to have significantly increased adherence to DRSCA scores, while patients with other dominant coping styles are less interested in managing their disease.

Keywords: coping, type 2 diabetes mellitus, diabetes self-management, glycemic control, diabetes prognosis

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