Patterns of Adapting to Health (PATH), Health Status, and Type 2 Diabetes. In a sample of over 4,000 commercial health plan members, the “patterns of adapting to health” explained differences in perceived health status among Type 2 diabetic and non-diabetic members.
The Patterns of Adapting to Health (PATH). The "patterns of adapting to health" are nine emergent patterns found within adult populations all over the United States. The patterns are formed by the interaction of multiple health-related responses to common health-related contexts. These contexts include response to perceived illness, family health, health information present in the environment, local health care providers, care seeking, cost pressure, attention to food consumption, expression of physical activity, and so on. The adaptive health behavior of the majority of adults within any population tend to conform to one of these nine patterns. There is no evidence that adults choose the pattern their adaptive health behavior will follow. Their own unique preferences and innate abilities in response to their health-related environment "draw" their behavior into one of these patterns.
Health Status and Diabetes Type 2. Consistent with other published research, in this sample the members with Type 2 diabetes reported significantly lower perceived health status when contrasted against non-diabetic members, confirming the negative impact that Type 2 diabetes has on how adults perceive their health.
The PATH Influence. However, this negative impact was not uniform among Type 2 diabetics. The PATH members followed had pretty much the same impact on perceived health whether members were diabetic or non-diabetic. Members conforming to Patterns 3, 4, and 8 reported higher perceived health status in both member populations in contrast to those members who conformed to Patterns 1, 2, 5, and 9. In fact, Type 2 diabetics dominated by Pattern 8 reported had higher health status than non-diabetics dominated by Pattern 2.
Conclusion. Based on this study, the negative impact of Type 2 diabetes on health status is not uniform across a diabetic population. The PATH underlying adult adaptive behavior has a significant impact on either alleviating or worsening the impacts of Type 2 diabetes on health. In fact, the PATH can create a situation where the health status of diabetics (Pattern 8) is superior to the health status of non-diabetics (Pattern 2).