Neighborhood Social Environment and Patterns of Adherence to Oral Hypoglycemic Agents Among Patients With Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus

In Family and Community Health, Heather F. de Vries and colleagues, including Douglas Wiebe and Dylan Small, examine whether social environment is related to adherence to oral hypoglycemic agents among patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. While individual characteristics are important contributors to medication adherence, much of the observed variation in adherence rates remains unexplained by these factors De Vries and colleagues compare residents in neighborhoods with high social affluence, high residential stability, and high neighborhood advantage to residents of neighborhoods with one or none of those features present. They find that patients in neighborhoods with markers of a positive social environment are significantly more likely to adhere to medication. They conclude that neighborhood social environment may influence patterns of compliance with medication regimens, and suggest that a multilevel contextual framework, extending beyond the individual, may be necessary to promote diabetic self-management activities.