Association Between Beliefs about Diabetes and Diabetes Self-Management Behavior in Patients with Cancer and Comorbid Type 2 Diabetes

Presentation Number: SUN 281
Date of Presentation: April 2nd, 2017

Jody-Ann N McLeggon*1, Yael Tobi Harris1, Natalie Coppa2, Jenny J Lin3 and Kimberly Muellers2
1Northwell Health, Great Neck, NY, 2Medicine, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY, 3Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY


Introduction: Many cancer patients will have at least one other chronic condition such as diabetes (DM) (1). Literature assessing the impact of cancer on DM management in patients with both cancer and DM is sparse, and little is known about DM treatment adherence in this population. Patients’ perceptions/beliefs about DM may be a contributing factor to non-adherence to self-management behaviors and poor glycemic control (2). We sought to assess how cancer patients’ beliefs about DM affect their DM self-management behaviors.

Method:We recruited DM patients who were diagnosed with early stage breast, prostate, lung or colorectal cancer ≤ 6 months prior to enrollment and were prescribed ≥ 1 hypoglycemic agent. Patients were administered a survey at enrollment and after 3 months. Beliefs about DM were assessed using the Brief Illness Perceptions Questionnaire (BIPQ) and DM self- management behaviors were assessed with the Summary of Diabetes Self-Care Activities (SDSCA) survey. Chi-square analysis was performed to assess the relationship between BIPQ responses and self-management behaviors.

Results:  61 patients with both cancer and DM have completed the 3-month interview to date; 34 (56%) were male and 27 (44%) female and the mean age was 61 years. Fifty-five (92%) patients felt they had control over their diabetes, 57 (93%) reported understanding their diabetes and 45 (74%) were concerned about their diabetes. Patients who felt they had control over their diabetes were more likely to follow a healthful eating plan than those who felt they did not have control (75% vs. 0%, p=0.002). Similarly, among patients who felt they understood their diabetes compared to those who did not, we observed a trend towards following a healthy eating plan (72% vs. 25% p = 0.08). In contrast, there was no significant difference in healthy eating between patients who were concerned about their diabetes and those were not. Interestingly, for each of these three beliefs, we found no significant difference in physical activity or frequency of testing blood glucose values.

Conclusion: In cancer patients with comorbid DM, patients’ DM beliefs are associated with diet adherence but not physical activity or blood glucose monitoring. Improving cancer patients’ understanding and sense of control over their DM may help improve diet adherence.


Nothing to Disclose: JANM, YTH, NC, JJL, KM