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Lunedì 30 Novembre 2009 07:57

Do emotions influence how diabetics manage their illness? That's one of the questions doctoral psychology student Amy Janzen hopes she'll get answered in a study she's doing under the supervision of Dr. Heather Hadjistavropoulos at the University of Regina.

"The goal of my research is to try and figure out the different psychological aspects that are influencing those who engage in their treatment and those who don't," Janzen said in an interview.

"Research has shown that individuals with diabetes, as a group, have difficulty adhering to all the treatment recommendations. Diabetes is an illness that requires a great deal of self-management including diet, exercise and medication. When researchers have looked at those three aspects together, the adherence rate is quite low." Diabetics are most likely to follow medication guidelines from their care providers, but diet and exercise adherence rates are lower, she said.

"In particular, I'm looking at emotions -- things like anxiety and depression, as well as attitudes and beliefs that individuals hold about the different treatment activities, about their ability to follow them and about barriers that might come into play," Janzen said.

She noted that diabetes is relatively unique because unlike many other chronic diseases, it requires a great deal of self-management such as monitoring blood glucose levels, diet and exercise as well as injecting insulin and taking oral medications.

The Canada-wide study is open to individuals who are 18 years or older and who have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes.

The confidential survey takes about one hour to complete and can be done online or in paper format.

Seven days after completing the initial questionnaire, participants will be contacted by e-mail, mail or phone to respond to 13 followup questions that will take five minutes to complete.

At 14 days, they'll be asked for their responses again.

A dollar will be donated to the Canadian Diabetes Association on behalf of every participant who completes the three questionnaires.

The results of the study will provide useful information to clinicians who assist people with diabetes to improve their participation in treatment activities.

The research has been approved by the University of Regina Research Ethics Board and the Regina Qu'Appelle Research Ethics Board.

 

By Pamela Cowan, Saskatchewan News Network; Regina Leader-PostNovember 30, 2009

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