Explaining the Relationship between Autonomy Support and Motivational Process of Health Behavior in Patients with Diabetes from Self-Determination Theory Perspective: Literature Review

Brigita Miežienė, Liuda Sinkariova, Rasa Jankauskienė


Background. The aim of this study is to provide an overview of the research examining the relationships between
contextual factor – autonomy support – and motivational process to control diabetes using self-determination theory
as a guiding framework.
Methods. Overview of published literature of applying SDT examining motivation and behavior in patients with
diabetes was performed. Sage, Medline and Google Scholar data basis were searched using “autonomy support and
diabetes” and “self-determination and diabetes” words combinations. Literature review included cross-sectional,
longitudinal research and experimental studies.
Results. Research shows that autonomy support directly affects autonomous motivation, competence and patient
satisfaction. Through the mediators in the behavior motivation model - autonomy and competence – autonomy
support is associated with diabetes related behavior, physiological and psychological outcomes.
Conclusions. It may be concluded that interrelationship between contextual social (relationship with health care
specialists), inner psychological (motivation) and physiological (glycemic index) factors is crucial considering the
content of educational programs of diabetes care. So, minimization of long-term diabetes complications, enhanced
psychological health and quality of life could be expected if health professionals provide autonomy support for their  diabetes patients.

Keywords: autonomous motivation, perceived competence, health-behavior.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.33607/bjshs.v2i93.117