Diabetes management and personal interests
Havins, William Howard
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Problems in the management of Type I Diabetes Mellitus have been addressed in previous literature using models of psychopathology. It is suggested that the use of models of psychopathology in investigations of diabetes management problems is inappropriate since the use of such models is predicated on the assumption that poor diabetes management is indicative of psychopathology. The present study sought to determine if a model of normal behavior, developed by John L. Holland (1973), could better explain problems in diabetes management. The present study attempted to gather data from 240 male and 240 female diabetes patients by seeking the participation of 143 physicians in five states. Twenty-seven physicians agreed to participate in the study, offering to gather data from a total 4651 patients (1065 patients per month). Seven physicians actually returned completed data (N = 99; male = 50, female = 49). Data gathered from each subject included a single glycosylated hemoglobin measure, a blood test that gives an estimate of individuals' levels of diabetes management for the previous 90-120 days, done on the same day that patients completed copies of Holland's "Self-Directed Search" (1977), a paper-and-pencil type interest inventory that assesses individuals' interests and self-estimates of skills and abilities in each of the six areas included in Holland's theory of personality (1973). Because of the small amount of data received from physicians, present data were analyzed and compared to data from a pilot study (Havins, Winer, Wysocki, Bourgeois & Varma, 1982) to determine if relationships between glycosylated hemoglobin measures and patients' scores on the "Self-Directed Search" were consistent. These relationships were not found to be consistent between samples. On the basis of the present comparisons there is no support for the idea that Holland's theory of normal behavior can explain problems in Type I diabetes mellitus management. Reasons for failure to find such a relationship are discussed.