Academic journal article Journal of Behavioural Sciences

Self Care, Coping Strategies and Quality of Life of Individuals with Diabetes

Academic journal article Journal of Behavioural Sciences

Self Care, Coping Strategies and Quality of Life of Individuals with Diabetes

Article excerpt

Diabetes is a metabolic disorder that share a common defect in the control of carbohydrate metabolism and it develops when the body does not produce enough insulin or is unable to use insulin effectively or both (ADA, 2009; Wolever, 2008; Golding, Roberts, & Towell, 2001). Type 1 diabetes is autoimmune disease that affects 0.3% of the general population on average. It affects approximately one in every 400 children under the age 18 (ADA, 2007; Wolever, 2002) while type II diabetes usually develops in adulthood accounts for 90 to 95% of all diagnosed

cases (IDF, 2014; Cox, Gonder-Frederick, Abrahim, & Larsson-Mauleon, 2010). In case of Pakistan 6.2 million cases are diagnosed with diabetes which is estimated to increase upto 11.6 million in 2025 (IDF, 2014).

Most of the psychological and behavioural demands of diabetes include a lot of self-care which refers to actions and attitudes for the maintenance of well-being, improvement in health, and prevention of disease and enhancement of personal growth of the individual (Norris, Lau, Smith, Schmid, & Engelgau, 2002). These self-care behaviours may involve daily treatment, dietary restrictions and monitoring, regular exercise, frequent blood glucose monitoring and recording, insulin injections, regularity in eating and sleeping to match the peaks and action of the injected insulin, and having a source of sugar readily available for episodes of hypoglycemia (Abrahim & Larsson-Mauleon, 2010; Peyrot et al., 2005).

Diabetes self-care activities have significant adverse effect on quality of life (QoL) of individuals with diabetes (Ayele, Tesfa, Abebe, Tilahu, & Girma, 2012; Liu, Tai, Hung, Hsieh, & Wang, 2010; Tucker, 2013). QoL is "the degree to which the experience of an individual's life satisfies an individual's wants and needs (both physical and psychological)" (Lazarus & Folkman, 1984, p. 157) and it includes an important impact on the patient's daily life (Ali et al., 2013; De Grauw et al., 1999; Myra, Clark, Sharon & Utz, 2014; Hart et al., 2003).

The onset of diabetes is stressful and considered to be traumatic event for an individual (Bradley & Speight, 2002). Therefore, successful coping and adjustment with disease symptoms and life style changes are required (Gordon et al., 2001; Sidell, 1997) which may prove helpful in maintaining psychosocial adjustment of the individuals with diabetes (YiFrazier, Yaptangco, & Semana, 2014; Reid, Dubow, Carey, & Dura, 1994; Bussel, Nieuwesteeg, & Janssen, 2013; Skocic, Rudan, Brajkovic, & Marcinko, 2010). There are different forms of coping strategies like denial, problem solving and information seeking which assists individuals to live with their condition (Fisher, Hessler, Polonsky, & Mullan, 2012). These adjustments can lead to either successful adherence to medical regimens and control of the disease, or may lead to ineffective coping.

The literature suggests that successfully adjusting to a chronic illness yields better Qol i.e. absence of psychological disorders, low experience of negative affect, improved functional status, and appraisals of well-being in varying life domains (Stanton, Revenson, & Tennen, 2001). There are four major dimensions of coping strategies (Endler & Parker, 2000) which include problem focused, emotion focused (Folkman & Lazarus, 1984), religious focused (Pargament, 1997) and avoidance focused. Researches have shown that emotional oriented and avoidant coping styles may be less adaptive than problem or task oriented and approach strategies which are conducive to positive disease related outcomes (Cox & Gonder-Frederick, 1992; Lazarus & Folkman, 1984), better metabolic control and Qol (Lundman, Asplund, & Norberg, 1993; Carolyn et al., 2014). Patients with diabetes are usually worried about their complications and future concerns which hamper their quality of life (Carolyn et al., 2014; UKPDS Group, 1998; DCCTRG, 1993). …

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