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      Relationship between social determinants of health and processes and outcomes in adults with type 2 diabetes: validation of a conceptual framework

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          The aim of this study was to empirically validate a conceptual framework and elucidate the pathways linking social determinants of health to outcomes in individuals with type 2 diabetes.


          615 adults were recruited from adult primary care clinics in the southeastern United States. The model was estimated using path analysis to determine if socioeconomic (education, employment, income) and psychosocial (fatalism, self-efficacy, depression, diabetes distress, serious psychological distress, social support, and perceived stress) factors would independently predict glycemic control or be associated with mediator/moderators of self-care, access to care, and processes of care. Covariates were gender, age, race and health literacy.


          The final model (chi2 (15) = 17.68, p = 0.28; RMSEA = 0.02, CFI = 0.99) showed lower glycemic control was directly associated with less hours worked (r = 0.13, p = 0.002), more fatalistic attitudes (r = −0.09, p = 0.03), more self-efficacy (r = −0.30, p < 0.001), and less diabetes distress (r = 0.12, p = 0.03), with the majority of total effects being direct. Significant paths associated self-care with diabetes distress (r = −0.14, p = 0.01) and perceived stress (r = −0.15, p = .001); access to care with income (r = 0.08, p = 0.03), diabetes distress (r = −0.21, p < 0.001) and social support (r = 0.08, p = 0.03); and processes of care with income (r = −0.11, p = 0.03), social support (r = 0.10, p = 0.04), and perceived stress (r = 0.10, p = 0.04). The paths explained 76% of the variance in the model.


          Consistent with the conceptual framework, social determinants were associated with glycemic control through a direct association and mediators/moderators of self-care, access to care and processes of care. This study provides the first validation of a conceptual framework for the relationship between socioeconomic and psychological components of social determinants of health and diabetes outcomes.

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          The PHQ-9: validity of a brief depression severity measure.

          While considerable attention has focused on improving the detection of depression, assessment of severity is also important in guiding treatment decisions. Therefore, we examined the validity of a brief, new measure of depression severity. The Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ) is a self-administered version of the PRIME-MD diagnostic instrument for common mental disorders. The PHQ-9 is the depression module, which scores each of the 9 DSM-IV criteria as "0" (not at all) to "3" (nearly every day). The PHQ-9 was completed by 6,000 patients in 8 primary care clinics and 7 obstetrics-gynecology clinics. Construct validity was assessed using the 20-item Short-Form General Health Survey, self-reported sick days and clinic visits, and symptom-related difficulty. Criterion validity was assessed against an independent structured mental health professional (MHP) interview in a sample of 580 patients. As PHQ-9 depression severity increased, there was a substantial decrease in functional status on all 6 SF-20 subscales. Also, symptom-related difficulty, sick days, and health care utilization increased. Using the MHP reinterview as the criterion standard, a PHQ-9 score > or =10 had a sensitivity of 88% and a specificity of 88% for major depression. PHQ-9 scores of 5, 10, 15, and 20 represented mild, moderate, moderately severe, and severe depression, respectively. Results were similar in the primary care and obstetrics-gynecology samples. In addition to making criteria-based diagnoses of depressive disorders, the PHQ-9 is also a reliable and valid measure of depression severity. These characteristics plus its brevity make the PHQ-9 a useful clinical and research tool.
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            Standards of medical care in diabetes--2014.

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              Short screening scales to monitor population prevalences and trends in non-specific psychological distress.

              A 10-question screening scale of psychological distress and a six-question short-form scale embedded within the 10-question scale were developed for the redesigned US National Health Interview Survey (NHIS). Initial pilot questions were administered in a US national mail survey (N = 1401). A reduced set of questions was subsequently administered in a US national telephone survey (N = 1574). The 10-question and six-question scales, which we refer to as the K10 and K6, were constructed from the reduced set of questions based on Item Response Theory models. The scales were subsequently validated in a two-stage clinical reappraisal survey (N = 1000 telephone screening interviews in the first stage followed by N = 153 face-to-face clinical interviews in the second stage that oversampled first-stage respondents who screened positive for emotional problems) in a local convenience sample. The second-stage sample was administered the screening scales along with the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV (SCID). The K6 was subsequently included in the 1997 (N = 36116) and 1998 (N = 32440) US National Health Interview Survey, while the K10 was included in the 1997 (N = 10641) Australian National Survey of Mental Health and Well-Being. Both the K10 and K6 have good precision in the 90th-99th percentile range of the population distribution (standard errors of standardized scores in the range 0.20-0.25) as well as consistent psychometric properties across major sociodemographic subsamples. The scales strongly discriminate between community cases and non-cases of DSM-IV/SCID disorders, with areas under the Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) curve of 0.87-0.88 for disorders having Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF) scores of 0-70 and 0.95-0.96 for disorders having GAF scores of 0-50. The brevity, strong psychometric properties, and ability to discriminate DSM-IV cases from non-cases make the K10 and K6 attractive for use in general-purpose health surveys. The scales are already being used in annual government health surveys in the US and Canada as well as in the WHO World Mental Health Surveys. Routine inclusion of either the K10 or K6 in clinical studies would create an important, and heretofore missing, crosswalk between community and clinical epidemiology.

                Author and article information

                BMC Endocr Disord
                BMC Endocr Disord
                BMC Endocrine Disorders
                BioMed Central (London )
                9 October 2014
                9 October 2014
                : 14
                : 1
                [ ]Health Equity and Rural Outreach Innovation Center (HEROIC), Charleston VA HSR&D COIN, Ralph H. Johnson VAMC, Charleston, SC USA
                [ ]Center for Health Disparities Research, Medical University of South Carolina, 135 Rutledge Avenue, Room 280, PO Box 250593, Charleston, SC USA
                [ ]Department of Health Science and Research, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC USA
                [ ]Division of Public Health Sciences, Department of Medicine, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC USA
                [ ]Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC USA
                [ ]Division of General Internal Medicine and Geriatrics, Department of Medicine, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC USA
                © Walker et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2014

                This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly credited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

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