Background: This study describes the utility of the brief Chronic Illness Resources Survey (CIRS) in a family medicine clinic. The brief CIRS is a 22-item scale that assesses support for self-management tasks common to chronic illnesses. The scale is based on socio-ecological theory and measures seven levels of socio-environmental support.
Methods: The sample included 31 males and females aged 38 - 86 years with a diagnosis of diabetes who presented for care at a family medicine residency clinic. After scheduled office visits, patients completed the brief CIRS, demographic indicators, and brief medical information.
Results: The health care team, personal support, and media/policy subscales were rated the highest followed by family and friends, neighborhood, workplace, and community organizations. There were no significant differences in the t-tests between select demographic variables (gender, race, age, marital status, and work status) and CIRS total score. Females' higher total CIRS score was nearly statistically significant as compared to males' total CIRS score.
Conclusions: The health care team is of primary importance in diabetic patient self-management, and so, the brief CIRS may be a useful rapid assessment instrument in a medical clinic setting where additional resources may be identified and recommended as indicated by the physician.