Time preference, outcome expectancy, and self-management in patients with type 2 diabetes

Florian M. Karl, Rolf Holle, Lars Schwettmann, Annette Peters, Michael Laxy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Background: Patient self-management is crucial to prevent complications and mortality in type 2 diabetes. From an economic perspective, time preference predicts short-sighted decision making and thus might help to explain non-adherence to self-anagement recommendations. However, recent studies on this association have shown mixed results. Purpose: In this study, we tested whether the combination of time preference and outcome expectancy can improve the predictions of self-management behavior. Patients and methods: Data from 665 patients with type 2 diabetes were obtained from the cross-sectional KORA (Cooperative Health Research in the Region of Augsburg) GEFU 4 study. Time preference and outcome expectancy were measured by one question each, which were answered on a 4-point Likert scale. Their association with six self-managing behaviors was tested in logistic and linear regression analyses. Likewise, we examined the association between self-management and the interaction of outcome expectancy and time preference. Results: A high time preference was associated with a significantly lower sum of self-management behaviors (β=-0.29, 95% CI [-0.54,-0.04]). Higher outcome expectancy was associated with a higher self-management score (β=0.21, 95% CI [-0.03, 0.45]). The interaction model showed that low time preference was only associated with better self-management when combined with a high outcome expectancy (β=0.05, 95% CI [-0.28, 0.39] vs β=0.27, 95% CI [-0.09, 0.63]). Conclusion: Time preference and outcome expectancy are interrelated predictors of patient self-management and could be used to identify and to intervene on patients with a potentially poor self-management.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1937-1945
Number of pages9
JournalPatient Preference and Adherence
StatePublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Adherence
  • Behavioral economics
  • Health behavior
  • Temporal discounting


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