In the United States, diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death and continues to rise in prevalence, with type 2 diabetes accounting for 90–95% of all cases. Rates of diabetes in Kentucky, and, in particular, the Appalachian region, are among the highest in the nation and are increasing faster than the national average. Despite this disproportionate burden, barriers to clinical appointment attendance have not been fully explored in this population. This article examines the association among perceived barriers to clinical attendance, glycemic control, and diabetes self-care as part of an ongoing study. We used a 25-item checklist developed using the Chronic Care Model to assess participants’ barriers to clinic attendance. Glycemic control was assessed via A1C measurement. Diabetes self-care was assessed using the Summary of Diabetes Self-Care Activities measure. At the time of analysis, 123 of the 356 participants (34.6%) did not report any barriers to clinic attendance. For the remainder, the major reported barriers included forgetting appointments, inability to afford medicines or other treatment, and placing faith above medical care. The average A1C was 7.7%, and the average diabetes self-care summary score was 17.1 out of 35 points (with higher values indicating better self-care). Missing clinic appointments is associated with lower health outcomes, especially in vulnerable populations. This study can help educate clinic staff on perceived barriers to type 2 diabetes management among people with diabetes in Appalachia.
A New Look at Barriers to Clinical Care Among Appalachian Residents Living With Diabetes
Brittany L. Smalls, Mary E. Lacy, Adebola Adegboyega, Laura Hieronymus, Nicole Bacha, Tayla Nathoo, Philip M. Westgate, Tofial Azam, Susan Westneat, Nancy E. Schoenberg; A New Look at Barriers to Clinical Care Among Appalachian Residents Living With Diabetes. Diabetes Spectr 1 February 2023; 36 (1): 14–22. https://doi.org/10.2337/ds22-0001
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