Objective The purpose of this study was (1) to characterize the primary sources of social support and the extent of unmet needs for support (defined as the gap between social support needs and the receipt of social support) in a sample of Korean Americans (KAs) with type 2 diabetes and (2) to examine the effect of unmet needs for support on their self-care activities. Methods Baseline data obtained from a community-based intervention trial were used for this study of 83 middle-aged KAs with type 2 diabetes. Study design and data analysis were guided by social cognitive theory. The key variables were dictated the order of the variables in multivariate regression analysis. Results Our findings indicated that for diabetic KAs, the primary source of social support differed according to gender. Unmet needs for support were significantly associated with self-care activities, but the amount of support needs and of social support received were not. Multivariate analysis also confirmed that unmet needs for social support are a significant strong predictor of inadequate type 2 diabetes self-care activities, after controlling for other covariates. The hierarchical regression model explained about 30% of total variance in self-care activities. Conclusions The findings highlight the importance of considering unmet needs for social support when addressing self-care activities in type 2 diabetes patients. Future interventions should focus on filling gaps in social support and tailoring approaches according to key determinants, such as gender or education level, to improve self-care activities in the context of type 2 diabetes care.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Health Professions (miscellaneous)