Objective: The aim of this exploratory study was to investigate the interaction between patient self-efficacy and GP communication in explaining diabetes self-management in a disadvantaged region of Sydney, Australia.
Methods: This study was undertaken in South West Sydney with the Fairfield Division of General Practice. We used a cross-sectional survey design to assess patients' self-reported beliefs and behaviours about diabetes self-management. We used hierarchical multiple linear regression to test for interaction effects in diabetes self-management, following tests for clustering using multilevel modeling.
Results: Of those eligible for survey, 105 patients completed the telephone survey (72%). There was a significant interaction between diabetes self-efficacy and GP communication in blood glucose testing; high-ratings of GP communication enhanced self-monitoring of blood glucose when patient self-efficacy was high but impeded self-monitoring of blood glucose when self-efficacy was low. There were no significant interaction effects for the general diet or exercise scales.
Conclusion: This exploratory study suggests a complex relationship between patient self-efficacy and GP communication in self-monitoring of blood glucose. It is likely optimal diabetes self-management behaviours are produced by a fit between high patient self-efficacy and high quality GP communication.
Practice implications: There is a risk that GPs who are sensitive to their patients' low self-efficacy in self-monitoring of blood glucose may step in and take over the monitoring role and inadvertently reduce self-management.