Objective: People with higher level of diabetes distress (DD) may have difficulty in managing their diabetes and possible higher A1c. In order to provide proper psychosocial care, we designed this study to understand the DD of participants in a diabetes clinic.

Methods: The study was a cross-sectional design conducted in a diabetes clinic in Taiwan. Diabetes distress (DD) was assessed by Diabetes Distress Scale and accompanied by a semi-structured interview to collect qualitative information. DD includes 4 dimensions which are emotional burden (EB), interpersonal (IP), physician related (PR) and regimen-related (RR) distress. The correlation analysis was conducted to portray the relationships between DD and sociodemographic variables. Emotional state using Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, quality of life using WHO Quality of Life-BREF, and HbA1C levels were also gathered as the dependent variables in regression models to understand how DD related to the adaptive index in people with diabetes.

Results: There were 71 (37 M and 34 F, 64 T2D and 7 T1D, 27 insulin treated) participants and mean age 51.6 ± 14.5 yrs. According to correlation analysis, age (r = -.30, p = .011) and taking insulin (r = .33, p = .005) were associated with the level of DD. Female participants had a higher level of EB (r = .26, p = .031) and IP distress (r = .29, p = .014). In the regression model with single independent variable, mean DD (β = .29, p = .016) and RR (β = .24, p = .040) was related to the level of HbA1C respectively, but they were not significant after entering control variables of taking insulin and new patients. Mean DD and EB distress were significant association with quality of life, the symptoms of depression and anxiety in the regression models.

Conclusions: Younger people and using insulin were associated with higher level of DD. The mean score of DD and RR dimension were also associated with the levels of A1c, however, using insulin and new patients might have a stronger association with the levels of A1c.


K. Chen: None. H. Chen: None. C. Hung: None. J. Hwang: None. Y. Chuang: None. Z. Chen: None.

Readers may use this article as long as the work is properly cited, the use is educational and not for profit, and the work is not altered. More information is available at http://www.diabetesjournals.org/content/license.