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Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Graduate Nursing

First Advisor

Barbara Heater


decision making regarding diabetic medical care, decision making regarding medical care of older people


Little is known about the decision-making preferences of the growing population of elderly people with diabetes mellitus who dwell in the community. The increased diversity of treatments for chronic illness has led health care providers to examine the information and decision-making preferences of these people. People are living longer and more independently with chronic illness. They are managing their illnesses in the home setting with increased autonomy.
Health decision-making preferences were defined as the amount of involvement people desire to have in making decisions regarding their health care. Preferences include a continuum from independence to dependence. Information preferences were defined as the desire for people to acquire knowledge regarding their health state.
The purpose of this study was to identify the informational preferences of people, the extent to which people prefer to participate in health decision making, characteristics of people related to these preferences, and the relationship of these preferences to health state. The study sought to answer six questions. (1) What is the level of satisfaction of elderly people with diabetes mellitus with how health decisions regarding their health care are currently being made? (2) What are the health care decision preferences of elderly people with diabetes mellitus? (3) What are the preferences of elderly people with diabetes mellitus regarding information about their health state? (4) What is the relationship between satisfaction with current health care and the amount of information people want to know about their health state? (5) To what extent are elderly people with diabetes mellitus involved in health decision making regarding their health care? (6) What is the relationship between state of health of elderly people with diabetes mellitus and satisfaction with current health care?
A descriptive correlational design was used to answer the questions under investigation. A convenience sample of 40 elderly people with diabetes mellitus completed a self-report questionnaire.
The findings showed a vulnerable group who were interested in information about their health and making decisions about their health care. While they want increased involvement in health care decisions, the amount of involvement decreased, as they became more ill. They wanted more information related to their health state at all levels.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Diabetics -- Medical care -- Decision making
Older people -- Medical care -- Decision making



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


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