Relations of Social Support to Treatment Adherence, Diabetes Knowledge, and Hemoglobin A1c in Different Ethnicities
Existing literature exploring potential mediators of the relationship between social support and diabetes outcomes is limited. This study explored the relation of instrumental and emotional social support to hemoglobin A1c and two variables that could mediate the relationship, treatment adherence and diabetes knowledge. This study also explored if these relationships are different between Latinx and other ethnic groups. Three hundred and eighty-six persons with diabetes across the United States completed a survey that assess their social support, treatment adherence, diabetes knowledge, and diabetes outcomes. Two path models tested the hypotheses that treatment adherence and diabetes knowledge mediate the relationship between social support and diabetes outcomes and whether the relations between social support and treatment adherence and diabetes knowledge are different between Latinx and others. Results showed that neither treatment adherence nor diabetes knowledge are mediators in the relationships between instrumental or emotional support and A1c. Additionally, ethnicity does not moderate the relation between support diabetes outcomes. While proposed hypotheses were not supported, supplementary analyses found that perceived total support received is significantly lower for Latinx than other ethnicities. The findings of this study provide researchers a first look into the question of whether treatment adherence and diabetes knowledge are mediators in the relationship between social support and diabetes outcomes and how ethnicity plays a role in social support and diabetes outcomes.