Journal of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 14, Issue 1, pp 71-86

First online:

Problem solving and diabetes self-care

  • Deborah J. ToobertAffiliated withOregon Research Institute
  • , Russell E. GlasgowAffiliated withOregon Research Institute

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An important objective of diabetes care is to provide patients with self-regulation skills. For patients to assume responsibility for their own regimens, they need to have good problem-solving skills to cope with ongoing personal, social, and environmental barriers to adherence. Therefore, a Diabetes Problem Solving Interview for adults was developed and evaluated with 126 non-insulin-dependent outpatients. Interviewers elicited problem-solving strategies patients would use to cope with a variety of situations potentially interfering with dietary, exercise, and glucose testing adherence. Interviews were tape recorded and coded by trained raters to produce scores on both overall problem-solving skill ratings and frequency of use of different types of strategies. Results revealed only minor influences of patient characteristics on problem-solving measures. Prospective analyses revealed that problem-solving measures were significant and independent predictors of levels of dietary and exercise self-care at a 6-month follow-up.

Key words

diabetes self-care problem solving adherence diet exercise