Diabetes Management: AnExploration into the Verbal SupportAttempts of Relational OthersDarlene K. DrummondThis research employed a message-centered approach to explore how women managingdiabetes through diet modification describe the support attempts of relational othersincluding family, friends, co-workers and health professionals. In-depth interviews with30 women diagnosed with non-insulin dependent diabetes were conducted. From thisdata, five speech acts that women with diabetes encounter when attempting to engage inhealthy eating behaviors were identified and illustrated: deterrence, indifference,encouragement, compliment and temptation. The context and features of the acts aredissected to better understand when an act is perceived as supportive or nonsupportive.Keywords: Social support; Diabetes management; DietMany diabetics do not exercise regularly nor maintain healthy diets to lose theweight necessary to acquire glycemic control (Glasgow et al., 1989; Wilson et al.,1986). This is particularly the case for overweight, middle-aged women living withdiabetes (Wing, Marcus, Epstein, & Jawad, 1991). As a result, approximately 160,000Americans die each year from diabetes and its related complications including heartdisease, stroke, blindness, kidney failure, and gangrene (Shortridge-Baggett & van derBijl, 1996). Nevertheless, several psychosocial factors like patient knowledge, previouslevels of adherence, perceived confidence in one’s ability to perform a behavior andlevel of satisfaction with health care influence attempts to manage diabetes (Burke &Dunbar-Jacob, 1995). One of the most salient and positively influential factors is theavailability of social support (Pham, Fortin, & Thibaudeau, 1996).
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