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Ethnic differences in illness perceptions, self-efficacy and diabetes self-care

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This study assessed differences between Europeans, South Asians and Pacific Islanders in illness perceptions, self-efficacy, self-care, metabolic control and retinopathy in diabetes. We also evaluated the role of illness perceptions and self-efficacy in diabetes self-care and metabolic control within each group. A total of 86 Europeans, 86 South Asians, and 87 Pacific Islanders with type-2 diabetes completed self-report measures of illness perceptions, self-efficacy and self-care. Metabolic control and retinopathy data were collected from patient records. Results showed that Pacific Islanders and South Asians held shorter illness timeline perceptions compared to Europeans. Relative to both the other groups, Pacific Islanders also had elevated scores on three illness perceptions subscales: consequences, identity and emotional representations. They had lower medication-specific self-efficacy as well as poorer medication self-care, metabolic control and retinopathy. In all three groups, self-efficacy was fairly consistently related to self-care, but not to metabolic control. Illness perceptions were less consistently related to self-care, but were associated with metabolic control.
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Keywords: Diabetes mellitus; ethnicity; illness perceptions; self-care; self-efficacy

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Psychological Medicine, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand 2: Department of Medicine, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand

Publication date: October 1, 2007

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