The prevalence of diabetes in Canada is increasing. Multiple factors have been identified in the development of disability in diabetic patients, but the interaction of those risk factors is not clear.
The purpose of this paper was to assess the association between diabetes severity, health behavior, socioeconomic status, social support, depression, and disability simultaneously in a population-based study of individuals with diabetes in Quebec, Canada.
Random digit dialing was used to select a sample of 2,003 adults with self-reported diabetes in Quebec. Health status was assessed by the World Health Organization Disability Assessment Schedule II and the CDC Healthy Days Measures. The Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) was used to assess depression. Potential risk factors included diabetes severity, social support, socioeconomic status, and health behavior factors. Structural equation models were used to identify risk factors that contributed to both depressive symptoms and disability.
The prevalence of major and minor depression was 8.7% and 10.9%, respectively, while the prevalence of severe disability was 6.7%. Diabetes severity and health behavior factors were associated with both depression and disability. Social support was associated with depression for women but not for men.
Our results suggest a complex interaction between health behavior factors, diabetes severity, social support, depression, and disability. Behavioral factors and diabetes-specific factors might have a direct effect on both depression and physical functioning.