Social support and self-management capabilities in diabetes patients: An international observational study
SourcePatient Education and Counseling, 99, 4, (2016), pp. 638-43
Article / Letter to editor
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Patient Education and Counseling
SubjectRadboudumc 16: Vascular damage RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences
OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to explore which aspects of social networks are related to self-management capabilities and if these networks have the potential to reduce the adverse health effects of deprivation. METHODS: In a cross-sectional study we recruited type 2 diabetes patients in six European countries. Data on self-management capabilities was gathered through written questionnaires and data on social networks characteristics and social support through subsequent personal/telephone interviews. We used regression modelling to assess the effect of social support and education on self-management capabilities. RESULTS: In total 1692 respondents completed the questionnaire and the interview. Extensive informational networks, emotional networks, and attendance of community organisations were linked to better self-management capabilities. The association of self-management capabilities with informational support was especially strong in the low education group, whereas the association with emotional support was stronger in the high education group. CONCLUSION: Some of the social network characteristics showed a positive relation to self-management capabilities. The effect of informational support was strongest in low education populations and may therefore provide a possibility to reduce the adverse impact of low education on self-management capabilities. PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS: Self-management support interventions that take informational support in patients' networks into account may be most effective, especially in deprived populations.
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