Ethnic and sex differences in ownership of preventive health equipment among rural older adults with diabetes

J Rural Health. 2007 Autumn;23(4):332-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1748-0361.2007.00111.x.


Context: Diabetes self-management is important for achieving successful health outcomes. Different levels of self-management have been reported among various populations, though little is known about ownership of equipment that can enhance accomplishment of these tasks.

Purpose: This study examined diabetes self-management equipment ownership among rural older adults.

Methods: Participants included African American, American Indian, and white men and women 65 years of age and older. Data included equipment ownership overall and by ethnicity and sex across diabetes self-management domains (glucose monitoring, foot care, medication adherence, exercise, and diet). Associations between equipment ownership and demographic and health characteristics were assessed using logistic regression.

Findings: Equipment ownership ranged from 85.0% for blood glucose meters to less than 11% for special socks, modified dishes, and various forms of home exercise equipment. Equipment ownership was associated with ethnicity, living arrangements, mobility, poverty status, and formal education.

Conclusions: Rural older adults with diabetes are at risk because they lack equipment to perform some self-management tasks. Providers should be sensitive to and assist patients in overcoming this barrier.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Diabetes Mellitus / ethnology*
  • Equipment and Supplies*
  • Ethnicity*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • North Carolina
  • Ownership*
  • Preventive Medicine*
  • Rural Population*
  • Self Care
  • Sex Factors