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Multigenerational Legacies of Diabetes: A Theoretical Framework Developed at Teacher's College,

Columbia University 


Melissa Scollan-Koliopoulos

Official Writing Portfolio

My interest in multigenerational legacies of illness began while caring for patients diagnosed with diabetes. Over the years, I’ve gone from hearing others peoples stories to developing a theoretical framework. Please look through my updated Writing Portfolio to discover more about my work.

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I’ve put together a selection of my latest and most influential pieces. Read through the samples below to learn more about the research directions and clinical practice implications of people sharing their narratives about their familial predisposition to developing diabetes, coping patterns, and self-care behavior.

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Funded by Sigma Theta Tau International and NIH grant-DK20541 to the Diabetes Research and Training Center at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. This project recruited patients from outpatient diabetes self-management education programs. The patients completed surveys that assessed recollections of a family member's experiences with diabetes self-care. John Rolland, MD was the first to coin the term "multigenerational legacy of illness" in his Families, Illness, & Disability Integrative Treatment Model.  This study confirmed his theories in the context of diabetes. Howard Leventhal, PhD's Self-regulation theory and Illness Representation Model were used to operationalize the constructs of a multigenerational legacy of diabetes.

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Multigenerational Legacies of Diabetes and Self-care Decision-making.

This was a descriptive study funded by the UMDNJ Foundation. It included two phases from 2007-2009. The first phase looked at stigma and disclosure and emotional and cognitive risk perception. The second  phase looked at Self-enhancing and motivating factors (ie. spirituality and Afrocentric and Carribbean cultural views) and emotional responses to diabetes self-care. This second phase incorporated J.M. Jones Theory, TRIOS: A psychological Theory of the African Legacy in American Culture to look at coping with diabetes self-care behavior.

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"It is possible that patients with a legacy of diabetes may follow different heuristics to arrive at self-care decisions that are based on memories of family member's who experienced life with diabetes."

Uncovering a multigenerational legacy of diabetes.

Melissa Scollan-Koliopoulos, ED.D, APN-C, CDE

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