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The relationship between coping styles in response to unfair treatment and understanding of diabetes self-care
Senior Scholars Program
  • Michelle L. Dyke, Massachusetts General Hospital
  • Yendelela L. Cuffee, New York University
  • Jewell H. Halanych, University of Alabama
  • Richard H. McManus, University of Massachusetts Medical School
  • Carol Curtin, University of Massachusetts Medical School
  • Jeroan J. Allison, University of Massachusetts Medical School
UMMS Affiliation
Senior Scholars Program; School of Medicine; Department of Quantitative Health Sciences; Eunice Kennedy Shriver Center
Faculty Advisor
Jeroan Allison, MD, MScEpi/Quantitative Health Sciences
Publication Date
Document Type
Adaptation, Psychological; *African Americans; Aged; *Attitude to Health; Cross-Sectional Studies; Educational Status; *European Continental Ancestry Group; Female; Health Status Disparities; Humans; Male; Medicare; Patient Education as Topic; *Self Care; Southeastern United States; United States
PURPOSE: This study examined the relationship between coping style and understanding of diabetes self-care among African American and white elders in a southern Medicare-managed care plan. METHODS: Participants were identified through a diabetes-related pharmacy claim or ICD-9 code and completed a computer-assisted telephone survey in 2006-2007. Understanding of diabetes self-care was assessed using the Diabetes Care Profile Understanding (DCP-U) scale. Coping styles were classified as active (talk about it/take action) or passive (keep it to yourself). Linear regression was used to estimate the associations between coping style with the DCP-U, adjusting for age, sex, education, and comorbidities. Based on the conceptual model, 4 separate categories were established for African American and white participants who displayed active and passive coping styles. RESULTS: Of 1420 participants, the mean age was 73 years, 46% were African American, and 63% were female. Most respondents (77%) exhibited active coping in response to unfair treatment. For African American participants in the study, active coping was associated with higher adjusted mean DCP-U scores when compared to participants with a passive coping style. No difference in DCP-U score was noted among white participants on the basis of coping style. CONCLUSIONS: Active coping was more strongly associated with understanding of diabetes self-care among older African Americans than whites. Future research on coping styles may give new insights into reducing diabetes disparities among racial/ethnic minorities.
DOI of Published Version
Diabetes Educ. 2013 Nov-Dec;39(6):848-55. doi: 10.1177/0145721713507112. Epub 2013 Oct 4. Link to article on publisher's site

Michelle Dyke participated in this study as a medical student as part of the Senior Scholars research program at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

Related Resources
Link to Article in PubMed
PubMed ID
Citation Information
Michelle L. Dyke, Yendelela L. Cuffee, Jewell H. Halanych, Richard H. McManus, et al.. "The relationship between coping styles in response to unfair treatment and understanding of diabetes self-care" Vol. 39 Iss. 6 (2013) ISSN: 0145-7217 (Linking)
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