Persons with insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus: acceptance and coping ability

J Adv Nurs. 2001 Mar;33(6):758-63. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2648.2001.01717.x.


Aims: The purposes of this study were to describe how persons with insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) accept their disease and what sense of coherence they have, in order to determine whether a person's acceptance of the disease is related to his or her sense of coherence. Whether acceptance of the disease and sense of coherence are related to the disease duration, complications of the disease, metabolic control and demographic data would also be determined.

Design: One hundred and seven, randomly selected, insulin-dependent, diabetic subjects (47 men and 60 women) participated in the study. The Acceptance of Disability Scale Modified (ADM scale), the Sense of Coherence Scale (SOC scale), a study-specific questionnaire and the patients records were used to collect the data.

Background: IDDM implies a major change in way of life. Ingrained procedures and patterns of behaviour must be adapted to the disease and its treatment.

Results: The results of the present study show that educational level seems to be an important factor for how well a person accepts the disease and the sense of coherence. Persons with higher scores on the ADM and the SOC scales had higher levels of education. Moreover, they also had a better metabolic control. Individuals with a poor metabolic control had more disease-related complications. A significant correlation between the ADM and the SOC scores was found, indicating that persons with a high degree of acceptance of the IDDM also had a high coping capability.

Conclusions: It is important to individualize the care of subjects with IDDM and to identify the persons with low acceptance of their disease and a low sense of coherence.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / complications
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / metabolism
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / prevention & control*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / psychology*
  • Disabled Persons / psychology*
  • Educational Status
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Internal-External Control
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nursing Methodology Research
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Self Care / psychology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Sweden