This study examined the relationship between coping style and understanding of diabetes self-care among African American and white elders in a southern Medicare-managed care plan. Participants were identified through a diabetes-related pharmacy claim or ICD-9 code and completed a computer-assisted telephone survey in 2006-2007. Understanding of diabetes self-care was assessed using the Diabetes Care Profile Understanding (DCP-U) scale. Coping styles were classified as active (talk about it/take action) or passive (keep it to yourself). Linear regression was used to estimate the associations between coping style with the DCP-U, adjusting for age, sex, education, and comorbidities. Based on the conceptual model, 4 separate categories were established for African American and white participants who displayed active and passive coping styles. Of 1420 participants, the mean age was 73 years, 46% were African American, and 63% were female. Most respondents (77%) exhibited active coping in response to unfair treatment. For African American participants in the study, active coping was associated with higher adjusted mean DCP-U scores when compared to participants with a passive coping style. No difference in DCP-U score was noted among white participants on the basis of coping style. Active coping was more strongly associated with understanding of diabetes self-care among older African Americans than whites. Future research on coping styles may give new insights into reducing diabetes disparities among racial/ethnic minorities.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Health Professions (miscellaneous)