International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

Anxiety and Depression among Diabetics in Samoa: Using Health Behavior Instruments to Assess the Linkage Between Mental Health and Chronic Illness
Philip Szmedra, K.L. Sharma

Diabetes is an increasingly important public health issue in both the developed and developing world. In some Pacific Island nations the disease affects up to forty percent of adult populations. Compounding the problem are the often hidden emotional costs associated with diabetes. In this paper we report the results of a survey taken in Samoa in March 2008 among diabetics being treated as out-patients at hospitals and clinics. We evaluate the degree to which the disease and its emotional impacts are affected by environmental, cultural, and societal factors using two behavioral instruments and regression modeling. We found higher pain levels, years of being ill, and higher wages contribute to greater levels of depression and anxiety. Depression among diabetics is a common co-morbidity that can affect the physical markers of the disease, negatively effects the desire to engage in physical activity, and decreases the desire to be involved in disease management.. Effective treatment of depression can improve diabetic management and control.

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