Apathy and Type 2 Diabetes among American Indians: Exploring the Protective Effects of Traditional Cultural Involvement

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In this study we examine relationships between traditional cultural factors, apathy, and health-related outcomes among a sample of American Indian adults with type 2 diabetes. Participants completed cross-sectional interviewer-assisted paper and pencil surveys. We tested a proposed model using latent variable path analysis in order to understand the relationships between cultural participation, apathy, frequency of high blood sugar symptoms, and health-related quality of life. The model revealed significant direct effects from cultural participation to apathy, and apathy to both health-related outcomes. No direct effect of cultural participation on either health-related outcome was found; however, cultural participation had a negative indirect effect through apathy on high blood sugar and positive indirect effects on health-related quality of life. This study highlights a potential pathway of cultural involvement to positive diabetes outcomes.


This article was published in the Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved in 2017.