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Impact of Cognitive Impairment on Adherence to Treatment and Self-Care in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus

Authors Świątoniowska-Lonc N, Polański J, Tański W, Jankowska-Polańska B

Received 30 September 2020

Accepted for publication 1 December 2020

Published 15 January 2021 Volume 2021:14 Pages 193—203


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Prof. Dr. Juei-Tang Cheng

Natalia Świątoniowska-Lonc,1 Jacek Polański,2 Wojciech Tański,3 Beata Jankowska-Polańska1

1Department of Clinical Nursing, Faculty of Health Science, Wroclaw Medical University, Wroclaw, Poland; 2Department of Internal Diseases, Occupational Medicine, Hypertension and Clinical Oncology, Wroclaw Medical University, Wroclaw, Poland; 3Department of Internal Medicine, 4th Military Teaching Hospital, Wroclaw, Poland

Correspondence: Beata Jankowska-Polańska
Department of Clinical Nursing, Faculty of Health Science, Wroclaw Medical University, K. Bartla 5, Wroclaw 51-616, Poland
Tel +48 71 784 18 24
Fax +48 71 345 93 24

Background: Elderly patients with diabetes have a significantly increased prevalence of mild cognitive impairment compared with people of similar age without diabetes. Tasks related to diabetes self-management involve multiple cognitive skills and processes, such as memory, attention, planning, and calculating. Impaired cognitive function can threaten the patient’s ability to perform self-monitoring. The objectives of the study were: to assess cognitive deficits and the level of self-care in elderly patients with diabetes, to identify correlations between cognitive deficits and self-care, and to determine which variables influence self-care behaviors and cognitive deficits.
Methods: The study involved 169 patients with type 2 DM. Standardized tools were used: Mini-mental State Examination (MMSE) to assess cognitive function and the Self-Care of Diabetes Inventory (SCODI) to assess the level of self-care. Socioclinical data were taken from the hospital records.
Results: 56.8% of patients had cognitive impairment (MMSE≤ 26). In the comparative analysis, patients with cognitive impairment had significantly lower results in all domains of the SCODI: self-care maintenance (72.9 vs 75), self-care monitoring (53.1 vs 56.3), self-care management (71.9 vs 84.4), self-care confidence (79.5 vs 86.4). Correlation analysis showed that the MMSE score correlates significantly and positively (p˂0.05; r˃0) with all SCODI subscales, and the higher the MMSE score the higher the level of self-care (A: r=0.252, B: r=0.244, C: r=0.019, D: r=0.28).
Conclusion: In this elderly type 2 diabetes population, and using only one test to verify the cognitive function, self-care management was worse in terms of self-care management (blood glucose control). Cognitive function components are independent determinants of self-care in patients with type 2 diabetes. Recall is an independent predictor of self-care maintenance, and writing a predictor of self-care monitoring.

Keywords: adherence, diabetes, cognitive impairment, self-care

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