Diabetes related distress in adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus: a community-based study

Allbright K. Symon, Saritha Susan Vargese, Elsheba Mathew, Akshay K. R., Jacob Abraham


Background: Living with diabetes can be difficult, since it can affect the patient physically as well as psychologically. Patients with diabetes face psychological issues which may be part of the spectrum of disease experience, distinct from depression, which hinder glycaemic control. The objective of the study was to determine the prevalence of diabetes related distress, and its association with socio-demographic characteristics, in adults with type 2 diabetes.

Methods: A community based cross sectional study was conducted among 250 individuals of 30-60 years, with type 2 diabetes.

Results: The prevalence of diabetes related distress in the study population was 13.3%; among the sub scales highest reported was regimen related distress 21.6%, followed by physician related 17.2%, emotional burden 16.4%, and inter personal distress 14.8%. Diabetes related distress was found to have significant statistical association with occupational class. In occupational class, distress was higher among unemployed while least in unskilled workers. It was higher among older (above 50 years) participants, males, members of joint family, unmarried and those with more years of education though there was no significant difference.

Conclusions: The prevalence of diabetes related distress (13.2%) especially regimen and physician related, underscores need for better clinician involvement paying appropriate attention to systematic diabetes self-care and management education, and timely diagnosis of distress for positive clinical outcome.


Diabetes related distress, Adults, Type II diabetes mellitus, Community

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