Psychosocial barriers to self -care among Hispanic women with type 2 diabetes mellitus

Zara Charmaine Shah, Florida International University


This cross-sectional survey-designed study investigated the presence and influence of psychosocial barriers to diabetes self-management practices among Hispanic women with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Women (n = 128) who were diagnosed and being treated for type 2 diabetes were recruited from the Miami-Dade area in South Florida. A Beck Depression Inventory-II, Diabetes Care Profile, Diabetes Knowledge Test, Diabetes Empowerment, Multidimensional Health Locus of Control, and Perceived Stress Scales were administered, along with assessment of diet through a 24-hour recall and anthropometric evaluation by body composition analysis and body mass index computation. Mean (± SD) age for subjects was 50.15 ± 15.93 and age at diagnosis was 42.46 ± 14.69. Mean glycosylated hemoglobin (A 1C) was 8.55 ± 1.39. Diabetes education had not been received by 46.9% of subjects. Psychosocial status had previously been evaluated in only 4 participants. Forty percent of participants were assessed as depressed and 17% moderately to severely so. Depression correlated significantly (p < 0.01) with A1C (r = 0.242), perceived stress (r = 0.566), and self-rated health (r = −0.523). Perceived stress correlated significantly (p < 0.01) with A1C (r = 0.388), understanding of diabetes (r = 0.282), self-rated health (r = −0.372) and diabetes empowerment (r = −0.366). For Cuban women, perceived stress (β = 0.418, p = 0.033) was the only significant predictor of A1C, while among non-Cuban Hispanic women, self-reported health (β = −0.418, p = 0.003) and empowerment (β = 0.432, p = 0.004) were better predictors. The most desirable DM status among the women surveyed (high diet adherence, low exercise barriers, and A1C ≤ 7) was associated with superior self-rated health, more support from family and friends, and greater empowerment. This study revealed the error in considering Hispanics a homogenous entity in treating disease, as their cultural backgrounds and concentration in a community can greatly influence management of a chronic disease like diabetes. The strong correlations found between diabetes-related health indicators and psychosocial factors such as depression and perceived stress suggest that psychosocial assessment of patients must be more strongly advocated in diabetes care. Psychosocial assessment of ethnically diverse diabetic populations is especially vital if greater knowledge is to be gained about their barriers to self-care so that diabetes treatment and thus outcomes are enhanced.

Subject Area


Recommended Citation

Shah, Zara Charmaine, "Psychosocial barriers to self -care among Hispanic women with type 2 diabetes mellitus" (2003). ProQuest ETD Collection for FIU. AAI3110374.