The Relationship Between Illness Representation, Coping and Metabolic Control in Adolescents With Type 1 Diabetes


  • A. Cosma
  • A. Baban


Background: To explore the role of coping in the Leventhal self regulatory model by testing whether coping styles mediate the relationship between illness representation and metabolic control (HbA1c). Specifically, we aim to establish which of the five dimensions of illness representation are most highly associated with coping strategies used by adolescents with type 1 diabetes in order to explain metabolic control. Methods: Seventy adolescents between 13 and 16 years of age were asked to complete the Diabetes Illness Representations Questionnaire (DIRQ) and the Kidcope. Measures of metabolic control (hemoglobin A1c) were taken from medical records. Findings: Perceived impact, identity, and cognitive restructuring were significant independent predictors for coping styles. Active coping predicted lower A1C levels. Multiple regression analyses indicated that coping did not mediate the association between illness representations and HbA1c. Discussion: Understanding the relationship between illness representation and coping styles should enhance efforts to improve diabetes outcomes in terms of metabolic control.






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