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Fons van de Vijver  (van de Vijver F) 1 Article
Clinical Care/Education
Depressive Symptoms Are Negatively Associated with Glucose Testing and Eating Meals on Time among Individuals with Diabetes in Zambia
Given Hapunda, Amina Abubakar, Frans Pouwer, Fons van de Vijver
Diabetes Metab J. 2017;41(6):440-448.   Published online November 17, 2017
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AbstractAbstract PDFPubReader   

Depression is an established risk factor for cardiovascular diseases and mortality among individuals living with diabetes, and impaired self-care behaviors may play a mediating role. In Africa, this association is not very well known. In this study, we examined the associations between depressive symptoms and different aspects of diabetes self-care in Zambian individuals with diabetes mellitus.


A total of 157 individuals with diabetes mellitus participated. The sample was drawn from four city hospitals in Zambia. Diabetes self-care was assessed using the diabetes self-care inventory, and depression was assessed using the major depression inventory.


Fifty-nine percent of the sample had type 1 diabetes mellitus. Variations in self-care activities and behaviors were reported as least adhered to by individuals with type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus, in adolescent and adult patients. Regression analysis indicated that there was no association between total diabetes self-care and the depression total score. However, depression was associated with poor glucose testing and not eating meals on time by patients with diabetes.


Some variance on poor self-care was explained by demographic characteristics, specifically age, body mass index, and to some extent, socioeconomic status. Recognition and successful treatment of depression in patients with diabetes might help to optimize self-care behaviors, especially glucose testing and eating meals on time. However, this hypothesis needs further testing.


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