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Older Adults' Common Sense Models of Diabetes

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Objective: To investigate the importance of viewing belief systems about health maintenance holistically. Methods: Qualitative (N=74) and quantitative data (N=95) were obtained from a multi-ethnic rural-dwelling sample of older adults with diabetes to characterize their common sense models (CSMs) of diabetes. Results: There is a discrete number of CSMs held by older adults, each characterized by unique clusters of diabetes-related knowledge and beliefs. Individuals whose CSM was shaped by biomedical knowledge were better able to achieve glycemic control. Conclusions: Viewing individuals' health beliefs incrementally or in a piece-meal strategy may be less effective for health behavior change than focusing on beliefs holistically.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Family and Community Medicine; Wake Forest University School of Medicine; Winston-Salem, NC, USA

Publication date: May 1, 2011

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  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

    The Journal aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of personal attributes, personality characteristics, behavior patterns, social structure, and processes on health maintenance, health restoration, and health improvement; to disseminate knowledge of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to designing and implementing effective health programs; and to showcase health behavior analysis skills that have been proven to affect health improvement and recovery.

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