Correlates of self-care in low-income African American and Latino patients with diabetes

Rosalba Hernandez, Laurie Ruggiero, Barth B. Riley, Y. Wang Yamin, Noel Chavez, Lauretta T. Quinn, Ben S. Gerber, Young Ku Choi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: This study aimed to examine diabetes self-care (DSC) patterns in low-income African American and Latino patients with Type 2 diabetes, and identify patient-related, biomedical/diseaserelated, and psychosocial correlates of DSC. Method: We performed cross-sectional analysis of survey data from African Americans and Latinos aged ≥18 years with Type 2 diabetes (n = 250) participating in a diabetes self-management intervention at 4 primary care clinics. The Summary of Diabetes Self-Care Activities captured the subcomponents of healthy eating, physical activity, blood sugar testing, foot care, and smoking. Correlates included patient-related attributes, biomedical/disease-related factors, and psychosocial constructs, with their multivariable influence assessed with a 3-step model building procedure using regression techniques. Results: Baseline characteristics were as follows: mean age of 53 years (SD = 12.4); 69% female; 53% African American; 74% with incomes below $ 20,000; and 60% with less than a high school education. DSC performance levels were highest for foot care (4.5/7 days) and lowest for physical activity (2.5/7 days). Across racial/ethnic subgroups, diabetes-related distress was the strongest correlate for DSC when measured as a composite score. Psychosocial factors accounted for 14% to 33% of variance in self-care areas for both racial/ethnic groups. Patient characteristics were more salient correlates in Hispanic/Latinos when examining the self-care subscales, particularly those requiring monetary resources. Conclusions: Important information is provided on specific DSC patterns in a sample of ethnic/racial minorities with Type 2 diabetes. Significant correlates found may help with identification and intervention of patients who may benefit from strategies to increase self-care adherence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)597-607
Number of pages11
JournalHealth Psychology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2014


  • Biopsychosocial factors
  • Correlates
  • Diabetes self-care
  • Minorities
  • Type 2 diabetes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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