Preventative diabetes self-care management practices among individuals with diabetes and mental health stress.
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BACKGROUND: The study purpose examines diabetes self-care management practices among individuals diagnosed with diabetes with and without mental health stress. METHODS: Pooled cross-sectional data (2011-2016) from the Household Component of the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (HC-MEPS) were used. The sample consisted of individuals ages 25-85 years (n=13,193; weighted n=23,559,975). Dependent variables were engagement in moderate/vigorous physical exercise five times weekly, receiving dilated eye exams, foot checks, treating diabetes with diet modification or insulin injections, and eating fewer high fat/cholesterol foods. The independent variable was diabetes with and without mental health stress. The study controlled for predisposing, enabling, and need factors. RESULTS: Compared with individuals with diabetes without mental health stress, findings indicate individuals with diabetes and low or mild/moderate mental health stress were more likely to treat diabetes with diet modification and to restrict high fat/cholesterol food. Individuals with diabetes and severe mental health stress were more likely to restrict high fat/cholesterol. Additionally, individuals with mild/moderate to severe mental health stress were less likely to engage in diabetes care behavior. LIMITATIONS: Mental health stress is represented as a non-specific psychological distress index summary during the past 30 days and may not be an actual representation of overall distress in a person's life. There were no variables distinguishing diabetes type or severity. The study uses self-reported data and is cross-sectional. CONCLUSIONS: Mental health stress may contribute to individuals not engaging in self-management practices. It would be beneficial to incorporate psychosocial services for individuals with diabetes and mental health stress.