Illness Perception and Cardiovascular Risk Awareness in Adults with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus



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Two out of 3 people with T2DM, over the age of 64, will die of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Currently, there is a global push to broaden the awareness of the risk for CVD in the DM population and this study is no exception. Illness perception (IP) has been shown to affect positive healthcare behaviors in people with T2DM however the relationship between IP and CVD risk awareness (CVD-RA) has never been evaluated. The purpose of this study was to determine if there is a relationship between IP and CVD-RA in people with T2DM. This descriptive, cross-sectional study recruited a purposive sample of 200 men and women, between the ages of 45 and 75 from a local health clinic. Data was collected by survey method using a demographic questionnaire, and 2 verified instruments, one to measure IP and the other to measure 4 sub-groups of CVD-RA. Data was analyzed by descriptive statistics, Pearson Correlation, multiple regression and Cronbach’s Alpha. Inversely, 71% of participants were aware of their CVD-RA however, they reported a low susceptibility to developing CVD and only a moderate level of intention to change behavior. While the study did find a correlation between IP and Perceived Risk for CVD, there were no significant associations between IP and Knowledge of CVD Risk, Perceived Benefits and Health Eating. The findings of this study can be used to develop interventions for both HCPs and people with T2DM to help improve health behaviors.



Health Sciences, Nursing