Social support, self-management, and quality of life among participants in an Internet-based diabetes support program: A multi-dimensional investigation

Russell E. Glasgow, Manuel Barrera, H. Garth Mckay, Shawn M. Boles

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the relationship of three social support measurement approaches to three criteria: (a) use of an Internet-based disease management system, (b) diabetes self-management, and (c) quality of life. An online survey was conducted among participants on the 'D-Net' (Diabetes Network) website, which provided information and support for adults with diabetes mellitus. A total of 221 respondents completed (a) items from the Interpersonal Support Evaluation Checklist, a measure of general support; (b) the Diabetes Support Scale, a new measure of disease- specific informational, advice, and empathic support; and (c) the Chronic Illness Support Survey, a measure based on a social ecologic framework to assess support received for chronic illness management from six different sources (personal, family and friends, health care team, worksites and organizations, neighborhood and community, and media/public policy). Although the three measures were moderately intercorrelated (r = .26-.45), each was related to different aspects of D-Net use, diabetes management, and quality of life. These results remained significant after adjusting for demographic and medical condition factors (partial correlations of .15 to .33). This study illustrates the importance of a multidimensional approach to measuring social support and computer-mediated health outcomes. The advantages and disadvantages of applying these different conceptualizations of support in health promotion programs are discussed, and opportunities for future research are identified.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)271-281
Number of pages11
JournalCyberpsychology and Behavior
Volume2
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Applied Psychology
  • Human-Computer Interaction

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