Coping with Chronic Illness: Information Use and Treatment Adherence among People with Diabetes


  • Elizabeth Goering Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis
  • Marianne S. Matthias Roudebush VA Medical Center/Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis



health literacy, information use, diabetes


This study’s goal is to understand the complex relationship among information usage, medication adherence, and disease management in people with diabetes. Toward this end, we conducted 21 in-depth interviews with Type 2 diabetics. We queried patients on the sources and adequacy of information that they received about their disease, as well as on how closely they adhered to their prescribed medication regimen. Interviewees identified 12 sources of information that they used to varying degrees in managing their diabetes. Of these sources, patients relied most heavily on their doctors, particularly upon initial diagnosis, in spite of delivering mixed assessments of the adequacy of their physicians’ provision of information. Other sources patients most frequently discussed included diabetes education programs, friends/family, the internet, the information leaflet that accompanies prescriptions, and written information. Further, those who reported high adherence to their treatment regimen tended to rely on different sources than those who reported low adherence. Findings are interpreted within the framework of the health belief model, and implications for designing effective interventions are discussed.



How to Cite

Goering, E., & Matthias, M. S. (2011). Coping with Chronic Illness: Information Use and Treatment Adherence among People with Diabetes. Communication and Medicine, 7(2), 107–118.




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