Quality of life and application of the transtheoretical model to diabetes self -management behaviors in older adults with type 2 diabetes

Christel Henseler, Florida International University


One in five adults 65 years and older has diabetes. Coping with diabetes is a lifelong task, and much of the responsibility for managing the disease falls upon the individual. Reports of non-adherence to recommended treatments are high. Understanding the additive impact of diabetes on quality of life issues is important. The purpose of this study was to investigate the quality of life and diabetes self-management behaviors in ethnically diverse older adults with type 2 diabetes. The SF-12v2 was used to measure physical and mental health quality of life. Scores were compared to general, age sub-groups, and diabetes-specific norms. The Transtheoretical Model (TTM) was applied to assess perceived versus actual behavior for three diabetes self-management tasks: dietary management, medication management, and blood glucose self-monitoring. Dietary intake and hemoglobin A1c values were measured as outcome variables. Utilizing a cross-sectional research design, participants were recruited from Elderly Nutrition Program congregate meal sites (n = 148, mean age 75). Results showed that mean scores of the SF-12v2 were significantly lower in the study sample than the general norms for physical health (p < .001), mental health (p < .01), age sub-group norms (p < .05), and diabetes-specific norms for physical health (p < .001). A multiple regression analysis found that adherence to an exercise plan was significantly associated with better physical health (p < .001). Transtheoretical Model multiple regression analyses explained 68% of the variance for % Kcal from fat, 41% for fiber, 70% for % Kcal from carbohydrate, and 7% for hemoglobin A 1c values. Significant associations were found between TTM stage of change and dietary fiber intake (p < .01). Other significant associations related to diet included gender (p < .01), ethnicity (p < .05), employment (p < .05), type of insurance (p < .05), adherence to an exercise plan (p < .05), number of doctor visits/year ( p < .01), and physical health (p < .05). Significant associations were found between hemoglobin A1c values and age ( p < .05), being non-Hispanic Black (p < .01), income (p < .01), and eye problems (p < .05). The study highlights the importance of the beneficial effects of exercise on quality of life issues. Furthermore, application of the Transtheoretical Model in conjunction with an assessment of dietary intake may be valuable in helping individuals make lifestyle changes.

Subject Area

Nutrition|Behaviorial sciences|Public health

Recommended Citation

Henseler, Christel, "Quality of life and application of the transtheoretical model to diabetes self -management behaviors in older adults with type 2 diabetes" (2003). ProQuest ETD Collection for FIU. AAI3085813.