Authors: Joelle Dorsett, Rachel Forsyth, James Shepperd
Faculty Mentor: James Shepperd
College: College of Medicine
Diabetes requires strict adherence to a treatment regimen to prevent adverse health outcomes. However, many people with diabetes fail to fully adhere to their treatment, and some may avoid information about how well they are managing their diabetes. In addition, Type 2 diabetes is often stigmatized because it is viewed as a lifestyle choice. We examined whether Type 2 diabetes corresponds with greater stigma, lower adherence, and greater monitoring avoidance than Type 1 diabetes. In a cross-sectional study of volunteers (N = 287) recruited through ResearchMatch, we found that people with Type 2 diabetes were less likely to adhere to their treatment and more likely to avoid diabetes management information than people with Type 1 diabetes. Across both types of diabetes, people with greater internalizing stigma were less likely to adhere to their treatment and more likely to avoid diabetes management information. Identifying a link between stigma, diabetes treatment adherence, and diabetes information avoidance suggests possible interventions to increase adherence, decrease information avoidance, and improve glycemic control.