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Unsupportive Social Interactions are Associated with Poorer Self-reported Health in Israeli Patients with Diabetes

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Objectives: Social support is associated with improved adherence to treatment recommendations among patients with diabetes. This research examines negative dimensions of social support such as interference and insensitivity which may interfere with appropriate lifestyle choices. Methods: A telephone survey in Israel of 764 patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes was conducted to assess social support and unsupportive social interactions, and correlate them with self-reported current health status. Results: Patients with higher levels of interference reported poorer health after adjusting for other factors including positive social support. Interference, which is a negative dimension of social support, was higher among Arabs than Jews (OR=2.12; 95% CI: 1.44, 3.10) after adjusting for factors, including positive social support, in a logistic regression model. Among Jews, the less educated, those not performing physical activity, and those with lower levels of social support reported significantly higher levels of interference. Insensitivity was lower among Arabs compared to Jews (OR=0.64, 95%CI: 0.44, 0.94) after adjusting for the variables in the regression model. Conclusions: Unsupportive social interactions can hamper adoption of a lifestyle needed for diabetes management, negatively influencing self-reported health.


Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Family Medicine, University of Tel Aviv, Tel Aviv, Israel;, Email: [email protected] 2: Psychosocial Aspects of Health, Gertner Institute for Epidemiology & Health Policy Research, Tel Hashomer, Israel 3: Research and Evaluation Unit, Maccabi Healthcare Services, Tel Aviv, Israel 4: School of Public Health, University of Haifa, Haifa, Israel

Publication date: September 1, 2016

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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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