Background. Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is a major public health problem associated with distress. T2DM can affect health outcomes and adherence to medications. Little is however known about the association between diabetes distress and medication adherence among patients with T2DM in Ghana. Objective. The objective of the present study is twofold: to estimate distress associated with T2DM and to examine its association with medication adherence. Methods. A hospital-based cross-sectional study was conducted among 188 patients with T2DM recruited from a diabetes specialist outpatient clinic at the Pantang Hospital in Accra, Ghana. Data were obtained using the Problem Areas In Diabetes (PAID) scale and the Medication Adherence Report Scale. Results. The findings showed that about 44.7% of the patients showed high levels of diabetes-related distress. Poor adherence to medications was recorded in 66.5% of the patients. Patients who were highly distressed had 68% lower odds of adhering to their medications compared to those who were not (OR: 0.32, 95% CI: 0.15-0.65). A principal component analysis revealed four areas of T2DM distress which were conceptualized as negative emotions about diabetes, dietary concerns and diabetes care, dissatisfaction with external support, and diabetes management helplessness. Conclusion. Our findings suggest that diabetes distress is a significant determinant of medication adherence behaviour in patients with T2DM. Thus, incorporating routine screening for distress into the standard diabetes care within the Ghanaian health system and having health practitioners adopt holistic approaches to diabetes management will be important context-specific interventions to improve adherence and health outcomes of people living and coping with T2DM.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism