Adherence to Self-Care Behaviors among Patients with Type 2 Diabetes—The Role of Risk Preferences

Tzahit Simon-Tuval, Amir Shmueli, Ilana Harman-Boehm

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives To examine whether the degree of risk aversion is associated with adherence to disease self-management among adults with type 2 diabetes. Methods This was a cross-sectional study of patients with type 2 diabetes (n = 408) aged 21 to 70 years who presented for routine visits in the diabetes clinic at a university medical center in Beer-Sheva, Israel. The authors used validated questionnaires to estimate adherence, risk preferences, motivation, self-efficacy, impulsivity, perceptions about the disease and the interpersonal process of care, and demographic and socioeconomic characteristics, in addition to retrieving data from computerized patient medical records of clinical indicators of disease severity. Multivariable linear and ordered-logit models examined predictors of adherence to each self-care behavior. Results Multivariable analyses revealed that, compared with others, risk-seeking patients reported lower general adherence (β = −0.32; P ≤ 0.05), and specifically, lower adherence to healthful eating plan (β = −0.48; P ≤ 0.1), consumption of low-fat food (β = −0.47; P ≤ 0.1), exercise (β = −0.73; P ≤ 0.05), blood glucose monitoring (β = −0.69; P ≤ 0.05), and foot care (β = −0.36; P ≤ 0.1). Risk-seeking patients did not report lower consumption of fruits and vegetables (β = −0.19; P > 0.1). Because 96% of the study population reported optimal adherence to medication, determinants of this behavior could not be analyzed. Conclusions Risk preference is associated with adherence to self-care behaviors. Identifying risk seekers may enable practitioners to target these patients with tailored strategies to improve adherence, thus more efficiently allocating scarce health care resources.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)844-851
Number of pages8
JournalValue in Health
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2016


  • adherence
  • diabetes
  • risk preferences

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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