Financial stress in emerging adults with type 1 diabetes in the United States

Blanchette, J. E., Toly, V. B., Wood, J. R.

OBJECTIVE: To describe the relationships among financial stress factors (perceived stress, financial stress, and financial independence) and psychological factors (depressive symptoms, trait anxiety, and diabetes distress) on self-management outcomes (HbA1c and diabetes-related quality of life) in emerging adults with type 1 diabetes. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: A descriptive, correlational, cross-sectional study examined 413 emerging adults, ages 18-25, from the Type 1 Diabetes Exchange Clinic Registry. Data were collected via REDCap surveys using the Personal Financial Well-Being Scale, Willingness to Pay Scale, Financial Independence Visual Analog Scale, Center for Epidemiological Studies-Depression Inventory, State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, The Type 1 Diabetes Distress Scale, and Diabetes Quality of Life Measure. Hierarchical Multiple Regression analyses explored significant barriers to self-management outcomes. RESULTS: Hierarchical Multiple Regression analyses revealed that 20.6% of variance in HbA1c (F = 15.555, p < 0.001) was explained by greater financial stress (β = -0.197, p < 0.001), willingness to pay (β = -0.220, p < 0.001), disease duration (β = 0.119, p = 0.014), and diabetes distress (β = 0.181, p < 0.001); 64.5% of the variance in diabetes-related quality of life (F = 148.469, p < 0.001) was significantly explained by greater financial stress (β = -0.112, p = 0.002), diabetes distress (β = 0.512, p < 0.001), trait anxiety (β = 0.183, p = 0.001) and depressive symptoms (β = 0.162, p = 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: Greater financial stress and psychological factors have detrimental impacts on self-management outcomes during emerging adulthood. Diabetes providers need to identify and address these factors in routine care and advocate for policy changes to support improved self-management outcomes.

Health Condition(s): Diabetes mellitus
Year Published: 2021
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