Characteristics of diabetes medication-taking in people with mild to moderate intellectual disability compared to those without: a mixed-methods study

Ruth Paterson , Laurence Taggart, Loiuse Hoyle, Michael Brown

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Abstract

Aim
To compare the frequency and factors associated with diabetes medication‐taking (depression, perceived side effects, self‐efficacy and social support) in people with mild to moderate intellectual disability and those without intellectual disability.

Methods
In stage 1 of this study, we collated information on diabetes medication‐taking and associated factors in 111 people with diabetes: 33 adults with mild to moderate intellectual disability and 78 adults without intellectual disability. Validated instruments measuring medicine‐taking, self efficacy, depressive symptoms, perceived level of social support and perceived side effects were administered in both groups. In stage 2, we used an abductive qualitative approach to triangulate stage 1 findings with carers (n = 12).

Results
The instruments showed good internal reliability (Cronbach’s α = 0.7–0.9). Comparisons between people with intellectual disabilities and those without revealed similar frequency of medication‐taking (70% vs 62%; P =0.41). People with intellectual disabilities and diabetes had significantly higher depressive symptoms, as measured by the Glasgow Depression Scale for people with a Learning Disability (P = 0.04), higher levels of perceived side effects (P = 0.01), and lower confidence levels, as measured by the Perceived Confidence Scale (P =0.01). The results of stage 2 showed how carers of people with intellectual disabilities and diabetes optimized medication‐taking yet infrequently discussed the side effects of medicines.

Conclusions
Further investigation of medication‐taking and side effects may result in the development of an evidence‐informed intervention to improve medicines safety in people with intellectual disabilities.
Original languageEnglish
JournalDiabetic medicine
Early online date7 Jul 2020
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 7 Jul 2020

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