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Title: An investigation to examine the relationship between illness representations, quality of life and treatment adherence amongst young adults (aged 17-30 years) with insulin dependent diabetes
Author: Hester-Smith, Philippa
Awarding Body: Open University
Current Institution: Open University
Date of Award: 1998
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This study explored treatment adherence amongst young adults aged 17-21 years and 23-30 years with insulin dependent diabetes. The Self-Regulatory Model (Leventhal, Nerenz & Steele, 1984) was drawn upon and the aim was to examine the relationship between treatment adherence and three independent variables including illness perceptions, medication beliefs and perceived quality of life. The sample included seventy-seven male and female participants who were recruited from four outpatient hospital clinics within the South of England. Thirty-seven participants were aged between 17-21 years and thirty-nine aged between 23-30 years. Self reported measures of treatment adherence and haemoglobin blood test results revealed that many participants were struggling to maintain good glycaemic control. Furthermore, significant differences between age groups were revealed within self report adherence measures with the younger age group reporting greater non adherence to glucose testing and diet. A non parametric correlation design was used to determine whether there was a relationship within each age group between measures of treatment adherence and the independent variables. No relationship was found between Illness perceptions and treatment adherence, although medication beliefs were associated with insulin misuse concerning weight control within the younger age group only. Furthermore, positive associations were found between quality of life measure, insulin adherence and glycaemic control within both age groups. The results are discussed in relation to the Self Regulatory Model and it is suggested that the association between quality of life and treatment adherence requires further exploration. Future research proposals are outlined and the clinical implications of this study are discussed in some depth.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Psychology