The Roles of Family History and Experiences with Diabetes in Illness Representations


A recent study featuring PISC External Advisory Board member Brendan Carr, MD, MS, explored the impact a family history of diabetes has on an individual’s experience with the condition. The team surveyed 89 adults with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes. The majority of participants cited genetic or behavioral family history as the source of their diabetes. A significant number shared stories of relatives who had suffered from severe diabetes complications, such as blindness or leg amputation. Most patients felt control over their health through self-care behaviors. As one participant explained, “I try to do whatever little stuff I can to make sure nothing bad happens to me.” Overall, family history has a significant impact on the outlook and self-care behaviors of diabetic individuals.


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