Unpacking cultural factors in adaptation to type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Michele E Walsh, Murray A. Katz, Lee Sechrest

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

28 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Race and ethnicity are used as predictors of outcome in health services research. Often, however, race and ethnicity serve merely as proxies for the resources, values, beliefs, and behaviors (ie, ecology and culture) that are assumed to correlate with them. "Unpacking" proxy variables-directly measuring the variables believed to underlie them-would provide a more reliable and more interpretable way of looking at group differences. OBJECTIVE: To assess the use of a measure of ecocultural domains that is correlated with ethnicity in accounting for variance in adherence, quality of life, clinical outcomes, and service utilization. DESIGN: A cross-sectional observational study. PARTICIPANTS: Twenty-six Hispanic and 29 non-Hispanic white VA primary care patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. MEASURES: The independent variables were patient ethnicity and a summed score of ecocultural domains representing patient adaptation to illness. The outcomes were adherence to treatment, health-related quality of life, clinical indicators of disease management, and utilization of urgent health care services. RESULTS: Patient adaptation was correlated with ethnicity and accounted for more variance in all outcomes than did ethnicity. The unique variance accounted for by adaptation was small to moderate, whereas that accounted for by ethnicity was negligible. CONCLUSIONS: It is possible to identify and measure ecocultural domains that better account for variation in important health services outcomes for patients with type 2 diabetes than does ethnicity. Going beyond the study of ethnic differences alone and measuring the correlated factors that play a role in disease management can advance understanding of the phenomena involved in this variation and provide better direction for service design and delivery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalMedical Care
Volume40
Issue number1 Suppl
StatePublished - Jan 2002
Externally publishedYes

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cultural factors
Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus
chronic illness
ethnicity
Proxy
Disease Management
Health Services
Quality of Life
Health Services Research
Ambulatory Care
quality of life
health service
Ecology
Hispanic Americans
utilization
Observational Studies
Disease
Primary Health Care
Cross-Sectional Studies
health care services

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health(social science)
  • Health Professions(all)

Cite this

Unpacking cultural factors in adaptation to type 2 diabetes mellitus. / Walsh, Michele E; Katz, Murray A.; Sechrest, Lee.

In: Medical Care, Vol. 40, No. 1 Suppl, 01.2002.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Walsh, Michele E ; Katz, Murray A. ; Sechrest, Lee. / Unpacking cultural factors in adaptation to type 2 diabetes mellitus. In: Medical Care. 2002 ; Vol. 40, No. 1 Suppl.
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