1 Department of Education and Health Promotion, School of Public Health, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran

2 Department of Nutrition, School of Health, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran

3 Department of Epidemiology and Biostatics, School of Public Health, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran

4 Department of Public Health, School of Public Health, Qom University Medical Sciences, Qom, Iran


Background and Objectives: Diabetes is one of the major concerns in the third millennium,
affecting more people every day. The prevalence of this disease in Iran is reported to be
high (about 7.7%). The most important method to control this disease and prevent its
complications is self‑care. According to various studies, this method has not found its
proper place among patients with diabetes due to several reasons. The present study was
aimed at determining the relationship between social support, especially family support, and
self‑care behavior of diabetes patients. Materials and Methods: This study was a narrative
review in which the relevant papers of cross‑sectional, cohort, clinical trial, and systematic
review designs were selected using databases and scientific search engines such as
PubMed, ProQuest, SCOPUS, and Elsevier, with the keywords diabetes, social support,
and self‑care. Moreover, Persian papers were selected from MEDLAB and IRANMEDEX
databases and through searching the websites of original research papers published in
Iran. All the papers published from 1990 to 2011 were reviewed. Results: The results of
the study indicated that the status of self‑care and social support in patients with diabetes
was not favorable. All the studied papers showed that there was a positive relationship
between social support and self‑care behavior. Also, some studies pointed to the positive
effect of social support, especially family support and more specifically support from the
spouse, on controlling blood sugar level and HbA1c. Conclusion: As social support can
predict the health promoting behavior, this concept is also capable of predicting self‑care
behavior of patients with diabetes. Therefore, getting the family members, especially the
spouse, involved in self‑care behavior can be of significant importance in providing health
care to patients with diabetes.


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