Objective The practice of diabetes self-care behaviors has been cited as a foundation for achieving optimal glycemic control. Proper motivation of people with diabetes mellitus is, however, needed for the performance of these behaviors. It is therefore pertinent to know if motivation by the family will improve glycemic control in people with type 2 diabetes mellitus. This study aimed to investigate the relationship between glycemic control and perceived family support among Nigerians with type 2 diabetes mellitus.
Methods A cross-sectional study was conduced on 316 adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus who attended a medical outpatient clinic. Data were collected through a pretested interviewer-administered questionnaire and a standardized tool (Perceived Social Support – Family scale). Hemoglobin A1c level was used as an indicator of glycemic control.
Results The proportion of participants with good glycemic control was 40.6%. Most of the participants (137, 43.8%) had strong perceived family support. Strong perceived family support (P=0.00001, odds ratio 112.51) was an independent predictor of good glycemic control.
Conclusion This study shows that strong perception of family support is a predictor of glycemic control among the adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus studied. Physicians working in sub-Saharan African countries with rich kinship networks should harness the available family support of people with type 2 diabetes mellitus in their management.
Significance statement Nigeria and other sub-Saharan African countries are currently experiencing a rapid increase in the incidence of noncommunicable diseases, especially diabetes mellitus (DM), as a result of increasing urbanization and changing lifestyles. People with diseases such as DM that require lifelong management may be tired of taking medications and adhering to the lifestyle modifications over time. This underscores the importance of motivation in people with DM. Can support from the family motivate people with DM to improve self-management behaviors and ultimately their glycemic control?
Few studies have looked at the relationship between perceived family support and glycemic control among people with type 2 DM. The conclusions from these studies did not point in any specific direction. Most of these studies were also done in developed countries. Thus, assessing the relationship between perceived family support and glycemic control in a setting with a rich kinship network may give better insight into this theme.
- Glycaemic control
- perceived family support
- type 2 DM
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