THE PSYCHOLOGICAL ATTRIBUTES OF CHINESE ELDERLY PEOPLE WHO TAKE CARE OF OWN DIABETES
Wu, M.S., Kwok, C.Y. and Tang, S.K., The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR
Diabetes mellitus (DM) is one of the common chronic illnesses and the top killers of people aged 65 years and above in Hong Kong. Aged patients with NIDDM have the primary responsibility for daily care, which includes a tremendous modification of their lifestyle to control their blood glucose level and the likelihood of developing complications. However, relatively less attention has been directed at exploring diabetes-care habits of Chinese elderly. In the present study, 191 Hong Kong elderly residents with non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) (117 males and 74 females) were individually interviewed and their diabetes-care habits were examined. Results showed that the self-care habits of the Chinese elderly patients with NIDDM were generally well. Findings of regression analyses indicated that, those who believed they were competent to perform the habits, held doctor-control orientation over their health, and valued health, tended to practice more these healthful habits (Total R square = 0.35). Medical and demographic factors were not good predictors of healthful habits and the interaction model suggested by Wallston (1992) was also not supported. The present investigation contributes to the future design of health promotion programs for the Chinese elderly. Further study should focus on how to effectively modify the control beliefs of the patients.