This study investigated the mediating role of self-compassion in the relationship of perceived stress with physiological well-being and self-care behaviors among patients suffering from type II diabetes mellitus (T2DM).
In this descriptive, cross-sectional study, 369 patients with T2DM were selected through purposive and consecutive sampling from the cities of Rasht and Rezvanshahr (Northern Iran) in 2020-21. The participants completed the perceived stress scale (PSS-4), summary of diabetes self-care activities (SDSCA) questionnaire, Ryff's scale of psychological well-being (RSPWB), and self-compassion scale (SCS-SF). The data were processed through structural equation modeling (SEM) in AMOS-24. Bootstrapping was carried out in MACRO to analyze the mediating relationships.
The perceived stress had a negative and significant correlation with self-compassion (r= -0.456), psychological well-being (r= -0.699), and self-care behaviors (r= -0.671) (For all cases P< 0.01). In addition, self-compassion had a positive and significant relationship with psychological well-being (r= 0.760) and self-care behaviors (r= 0.657) (P< 0.01). The modified structural model had the desired fitting with the collected data (CFI= 0.955, RMSEA= 0.079, χ2/df= 2.842). Following the bootstrapping analysis, self-compassion significantly mediates the relationship between perceived stress, psychological well-being (P< 0.0001), and self-care behaviors (P< 0.0001).
Self-compassion can serve as a shield against and reduce the destructive effects of stress on the psychological well-being and self-care behaviors of diabetic patients. The beneficial effects of self-compassion can be used in diabetic psychotherapy protocols to improve psychological well-being and self-care behaviors.
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