Browsing PhD e-theses by Authors
Cognition and self-management in type 2 diabetes in the older personTomlin, Alexandra Elizabeth (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2011-12)Cognition and Self-Management in Type 2 diabetes in the older person was studied using neuropsychological evaluation and self-management assessments. Type 2 diabetes is increasing in prevalence, erodes quality of life, and places significant burden on healthcare services. The condition is largely self-managed, requiring daily performance of a variety of tasks. Impaired cognition has been associated with Type 2 diabetes, particularly in those who have had diabetes for longer or are older. It is unknown whether such changes in cognition seen in Type 2 diabetes affect the ability to self-manage the condition; the few studies that have been conducted in this area have shown little consensus in focus, methodology, or results. This thesis aimed to investigate any links between cognitive impairment and diabetes self management skills in an older population with Type 2 diabetes, by determining assessment schedules for both selfmanagement and cognition in this population and searching for associations between the two. Literature review, questionnaire and focus group studies pointed towards four main components of diabetes selfmanagement; diabetes knowledge, self-efficacy, motivation, and diabetesspecific problem solving abilities. A theoretical framework emerged from this analysis; Bandura’s Social Cognitive Theory provides a context for the interaction of environment, society and cognitions in health behaviours. A systematic review found several associations between self-management skills and abilities, and global and individual areas of cognition, including links between executive function and memory, and diabetes knowledge, insulin skills, adherence to medications, missed appointments, and decreased frequency of self-care activities. A further clinical study identified several associations including visual and working memory, and reaction times, with diabetes knowledge. Future studies with larger sample sizes might revisit these associations. Clinical implications include the need for routine cognitive assessment in an older population with Type 2 diabetes; interventions might include checking medication adherence, diabetes knowledge, and referral to support groups.