Objective: Family/friend involvement and diabetes distress are associated with outcomes for persons with type 2 diabetes (PWDs), but little is known about how they relate to each other. We aim to (1) describe associations between PWD and support person (SP) distress; (2) describe associations between involvement and diabetes distress for PWDs, for SPs, and across the dyad; and (3) explore whether associations differ by PWD-SP cohabitation.
Methods: PWDs and SPs co-enrolled in a study evaluating the effects of a self-care support intervention and completed self-report measures at baseline.
Results: PWDs and SPs (N = 297 dyads) were, on average, in their mid-50s and around one-third identified as racial or ethnic minorities. The association between PWD and SP diabetes distress was small (Spearman's ρ = 0.25, p < 0.01). For PWDs, experienced harmful involvement from family/friends was associated with more diabetes distress (standardized β = 0.23, p < 0.001) independent of helpful involvement in adjusted models. Separately, SPs' self-reported harmful involvement was associated with their own diabetes distress (standardized β = 0.35, p < 0.001) and with PWDs' diabetes distress (standardized β = 0.25, p = 0.002), independent of SPs' self-reported helpful involvement.
Conclusion and practice implications: Findings suggest dyadic interventions may need to address both SP harmful involvement and SP diabetes distress, in addition to PWD distress.
Keywords: Diabetes distress; Dyad; Family involvement; Social support; Type 2 diabetes.
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