Examining the influence of family support on diabetes education behavioural outcomes
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The purpose of this study was to examine the influence of family support on diabetes education behavioural outcomes, specifically in relation to diet, exercise, and blood glucose monitoring in adult individuals with Type 2 diabetes. Fifty-three individuals attending diabetes education for the first time were followed approximately 1 month. The findings for the influence of family support were mixed. Family attending diabetes class with participants had a positive influence with respect to diet. This is consistent with Carl Rogers (1969) who espouses setting a positive climate for learning and that learning new attitudes or information comes when external barriers are at a minimum. However family attending class with participants had no influence with respect to exercise or blood glucose monitoring. The family support action of encouraging with respect to diet overall did not influence healthy eating behaviours except for decreased skipped meals and scheduled snacks. In fact, in the areas of family willing to make healthy choices along with participant, the less the family was involved in encouraging, the better the participant did. Exercise on the other hand was influenced positively by family encouragement. This is consistent with Bandura's theory that enhancement of self-confidence and self-efficacy can lead to desired behaviour changes. Family encouragement however did not appear to influence blood glucose monitoring behaviours. This study has implications for practice in that diabetes education programs can encourage family to attend classes or get involved in encouraging the person with diabetes, so that it may help to increase healthy eating behaviours and exercise. As time is necessary to implement changes in behaviour, future research can look at the influence of family support over a 6-month, I-year, or greater period.