Date of Award

1992

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Health Science Honours

Faculty

Faculty of Health and Human Sciences

First Advisor

Anne McMurray

Second Advisor

Amanda Blackmore

Abstract

It is believed that people who effectively self manage their own diabetes will achieve higher levels of health and well being (Pender, 1987). Although diabetes education has increased rapidly in the last 10 years, the emphasis has been placed on increasing people's knowledge of diabetes as a medical condition, which does not necessarily ensure effective self management of diabetes. Previous research suggests that self blood glucose monitoring (SBOM) is an effective tool for promoting the use of blood glucose levels as a basis for initiating behaviour changes related to eating, exercise and insulin dosage. Yet, while most people with diabetes practise SBGM to some degree, it is unknown whether SBGM is used to promote effective self management of diabetes or simply to comply with the instructions of health professionals. In this study, two specific aspects of Pender's (1987) Health Promotion Model (HPM) guided the investigation: perceived control of health and perceived self efficacy. A survey design was used to study whether people with Insulin dependent diabetes meliitus (IDDM) who have attended The Diabetes Association of W.A. for education, can correctly perform SBGM and whether they use the information from SBGM to self manage their diabetes. The study involved a convenience sample of 67 people with IDDM who completed a questionnaire eliciting their perception of their diabetes related to blood glucose monitoring and self management. It was found that 63% of subjects relied on blood glucose monitoring to initiate behaviour change. Forty seven per cent of subjects met the criteria prescribed for performing blood glucose monitoring correctly. Seventy per cent of subjects performed blood glucose tests frequently and regularly enough to effectively monitor blood glucose. However, willingness to monitor blood glucose frequently, tended to decrease with duration of diabetes. Monitoring blood glucose to comply with the instructions of health professionals was considered by subjects to be as important as SBGM for the purpose of self management. This indicated that the participants did not feel autonomous and independent regarding the use of blood glucose data. It was found that individuals' ability to self manage their own diabetes was not affected by sex, duration of diabetes or level of education. However, increase in age was related to correctly performing blood glucose testing and use of data to initiate behaviour change. Findings of this study suggest that the usefulness of SBGM in promoting effective management skills may be compromised by incorrect technique and a decrease in motivation to monitor blood glucose over time. In addition, the dependence of subjects on health professionals to use blood glucose data does not indicate autonomy and independence in the self management of diabetes.

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