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Mary M. Lobb

Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Graduate Nursing

First Advisor

Sharon Hofland


The problem investigated in this study was: What is the relationship between health beliefs and compliance with selected components of a prescribed diabetes treatment regimen? The problem of patient compliance with medical regimens is widely recognized by health professionals and common to many chronic diseases, including diabetes. In fact, Rosenstock has suggested that inadequate patient compliance with prescribed treatment may be the most serious obstacle to effective diabetes management. As previously noted, the complexity of the diabetes treatment regimen and the permanent nature of the disease may serve as potential explanations for patients' less than optimal compliance. Other possible factors that influence compliance are the individual's beliefs about his/her health and about the degree to which following the treatment plan will determine the course of the disease. Personal beliefs affect behavior in many facets of life, and this relationship would seem probable in the realm of health behavior as well. Nurses are often the primary providers of initial education regarding specific diabetes treatment regimen components, and frequently follow up on compliance with the regimen in an outpatient setting. If indeed there is a relationship between health beliefs and compliance with diabetes treatment regimen components, several implications for health professionals are suggested. An assessment of health beliefs known to influence compliance would assist the nurse in setting up a treatment plan which works with, not against, these Beliefs. Attempts could also be made to modify those health beliefs which negatively impact compliance. Perhaps most importantly, knowledge of the relationship between health beliefs and compliance with diabetes treatment regimen components would allow both patient and health professional to appraise compliance problems realistically, rather than to place blame on each other for less than optimal outcomes.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Diabetics -- Attitudes


Patient compliance -- Behavior



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University