Over 3 million elders in the United States are afflicted with diabetes mellitus. This number is predicted to rise as the number of elders continues to increase. Hardiness is a personality characteristic that has been shown to help people adapt more effectively to chronic illness. Little is known about the relationship between hardiness and compliance to diabetic treatment regimens. The purpose of this descriptive correlational study was to determine if there was a relationship between hardiness and compliance to diabetic treatment regimens in elderly patients with diabetes mellitus. Becker's Health Belief Model served as the theoretical framework for this study. Hardiness was measured using the Health Related Hardiness Scale (HRHS). Compliance was measured using the Self- Management Compliance Questionnaire (SMCQ). A convenience sample of 44 persons aged 65 to 86 and diagnosed with diabetes mellitus from two rural health clinics, a home health agency, and an apartment complex for the elderly in east central Mississippi was utilized. The participants were mostly women (75%) with 57% being married and 7 0% having less than a high school education. Statistical analyses were made using the Pearson product-moment correlation. A significant positive relationship was found between hardiness and compliance in elders with their diabetic treatment regimens. Findings also indicated that as participants aged they became less hardy and less compliant. Recommendations for further study included an experimental study to determine how effective hardiness instruction would be in improving compliance rates in elders.


Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)


Graduate Nursing

Degree Date


Publication Number


First Advisor

Lorraine Hamm

Second Advisor

Lynn Chilton

Third Advisor

Suzanne Bennett

Document Type