Objective: To determine the association between glycemic (blood sugar) control levels and social support among people with type 2 diabetes enrolled in a lifestyle intervention program; in addition, to determine whether the association of glycemic control to social support depends only on social support received or the congruence of desired support to received support.
Research Design and Methods: Data from Improving Control with Activity and Nutrition (ICAN) were used to investigate associations between the change in glycemic control and social support received by patients compared to their desired levels of help and support. ICAN was a randomized clinical trial with 431 adult participants with type 2 diabetes and having a body mass index ≥27 kg/m^2. ICAN participants received one year of moderate intensity lifestyle intervention, after which they were randomly assigned to ongoing maintenance or usual care. Data were collected through questionnaires taken at the baseline point and every six months after for 42 months. Survey items assessed support desired and support received for meal planning, medication use, foot care, physical activity, and blood sugar testing, as well as emotional support. We calculated the congruence between measures of support received and support desired. Ongoing analyses will examine the association between social support received, social support congruence, and both cross-sectional glycemic control and changes in glycemic control over the course of the intervention.
Results: Participant responses varied on the proportion who agreed or strongly agreed that they received support for meal planning (41.4%), physical activity (41.4%), medication use (37.4%), foot care (27.7%), blood sugar testing (27.0%), and general emotional support (32.0%). A majority of participants agreed or strongly agreed that they desired support for meal planning (68.2%) and physical activity (71.1%), but fewer participants reported desiring support for medication use (32.6%), foot care (33.7%), blood sugar testing (35.9%), or general emotional support (46.8%). Congruence between support desired and support received was substantial; the most common result was exact congruence between desired and received support.
Conclusions: There was sufficient variation in congruence to support its use as an independent predictor of glycemic control in our ongoing analyses.
Funding Statement (additional comments about funding)
Viktor E. Bovbjerg, Ph.D. MPH;University of Virginia Health System;Southern Health – A Coventry Health Care Plan;Oregon State University – College of Public Health and Human Sciences, Undergraduate Research Awards Program (URAP)
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