Introduction: Although no treatment is available for diabetes, it can be controlled. In order to successfully control and manage the disease, patients adherence to treatment is of particular importance. Besides, many factors are effective in patients ability to adhere to treatment. The present study aimed to assess the relationship between social support and adherence to treatment among elderly patients suffering from type II diabetes mellitus in diabetes clinic of Fasa in southern Iran.
Methods: This descriptive-analytical study was conducted on 200 elderly people with type II diabetes mellitus referred to the diabetes clinic of Fasa in southern Iran. The study data were collected using a demographic and clinical information checklist (age, weight, sex, education level, marital status, living status, and disease duration), Modanloos adherence to treatment questionnaire, and multi-dimensional scale of perceived social support. The data were then entered into the SPSS 22 software and were analyzed via descriptive statistics, chi-square, independent t-test, and logistic regression analysis.
Results: The mean age of the participants was 72.05+7.92 years and the mean of their disease duration was 11.38+3.17 years. Besides, the majority of the participants (70%) were female. The total mean score of adherence to treatment was 154.91+19.61, indicating moderate adherence to treatment in most of the participants (51.50%). Moreover, adherence to treatment was associated with social support (in the three dimensions of family, friends, and significant others), sex, and living status.
Conclusion: The results indicated that social support could be considered as a valuable resource in the interventions aimed at diabetes management and control.
Key words: Social support, Adherence to treatment, Elderly, Type II diabetes mellitus.