Risk taking and its influence on metabolic control: a study of adult clients with diabetes

Authors


Dayle H. Joseph, Associate Professor, College of Nursing, University of Rhode Island, Kingston, Rhode Island 02881-0814, USA.

Abstract

Clients afflicted with diabetes are routinely faced with making decisions about insulin control, diet, exercise and skin care. The specific aims of this study were (a) to determine if clients with controlled blood sugar levels were more likely to have risk-averse information processing styles and, (b) to determine the extent to which the differences in blood sugar levels were attributed to information processing styles, after controlling for knowledge of diabetes, participation in home monitoring, and age. A comparative design utilizing 86 insulin-dependent male and female clients with diabetes was used. Findings indicated that there were no differences in risk scores between uncontrolled and controlled diabetics. Additionally, in this study there were no differences in control between clients who were knowledgeable and those who were not. This study has several implications for nursing practice. As taking risks may not be as dangerous to the diabetic client's wellbeing as many believe, there may be a need to consider this behaviour in developing the client's plan of care. Questions are also raised about the influence of knowledge on control.

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