Adhering to increased exercise is often reported as one of the greatest challenges facing adults living with diabetes, a perception shared by the married middle-aged and older adults living with diabetes who participated in this study. Understanding how that challenge can best be met is both research and program relevant. Drawing on the social cognitive theory and social support literature, this qualitative study explored the powerful couple relationship in Type 2 diabetes management. The overarching goal of this paper was to illuminate the potentially key role of collective efficacy in exercise adherence in order to develop and test interventions that provide more effective supports for adults living with diabetes. Analyses revealed three core themes used by the couples to describe their perceived beliefs: 'Collective support', 'Collective motivation' and 'Collective responsibility'. Our findings provide insights regarding how collective beliefs of spousal support may influence the adoption and maintenance of an exercise program. As health educators look for approaches to improve exercise adherence in diabetes management, it is important to understand how couples can be empowered to assume responsibility for their management.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health