Symptom beliefs and actual blood glucose in type II diabetes


  • Dr. Kathleen A. O'Connell,

    Corresponding author
    • 10026 Roe Avenue, Overland Park, KS 66207
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    • Kathleen A. O'Connell, PhD, RN, was an associate professor at the University of Kansas School of Nursing when this project was conducted. She is currently a postdoctoral fellow in psychology at Purdue University. Edna K. Hamera, PhD, RN, and Ann Schorfheide, PhD, RN, are both associate professors at the University of Kansas School of Nursing, Kansas City. Diana Guthrie, PhD, RN, is an associate professor at the University of Kansas School of Medicine at Wichita.

  • Edna K. Hamera,

  • Ann Schorfheide,

  • Diana Guthrie


The relationships of blood glucose levels to symptoms and symptom beliefs were examined in this study of persons (N=51) with Type II diabetes. Analyses revealed that 88% of the subjects had at least one symptom that was substantially correlated with blood glucose levels. However, subjects' symptom beliefs (symptoms subjects believe are the best indicators of high or low blood glucose levels) were largely unrelated to actual blood glucose levels. Thus, subjects were often mistaken about which of their symptoms were accurate indicators of blood glucose levels. Analyses also showed that the accuracy of symptom beliefs for low blood glucose was positively related to metabolic control.