Diabetes Distress (DD, i.e., regimen, emotional, interpersonal, clinician) in adults with type 2 diabetes (T2DM) is associated with poor glycemic control, poorer diet and exercise, and more T2DM complications. We describe a multi-phased study to develop and test a tailored intervention to reduce DD to improve health outcomes. Phases 1-3 identified factors related to DD in Veterans with T2DM to inform intervention development. We used an explanatory sequential mixed methods design to identify how Veterans with T2DM experienced DD. Veterans (n=210) completed measures (DD, depression, empowerment, stigma) . A subset of Veterans (n=36) also completed in-depth qualitative interviews. We fit a multivariable linear regression to examine associations with DD score. We completed thematic analysis on interview transcripts. We integrated measurement and interview data using matrices and analyzed results by medication type, hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) , and severity of DD (low, moderate, high) . Mean age was 63 years (SD 10.2) ; 15% female; 69% non-white; 56% on insulin; mean A1c 8.9% (SD 2.0) ; mean DD score was 2.0 (SD 0.9) , indicating moderate distress. In the regression model, female gender (β= -0.31; 95% CI: -0.57, -0.04) , diagnosis of multiple mental health comorbidities vs. one condition (β=-0.29; 95% CI: -0.55, -0.03) , higher depression symptom (β=0.15; severity (95% CI: 0.08, 0.23) and stigma (β=0.02; 95% CI: 0.01, 0.04) were associated with higher DD. Higher T2DM self-efficacy (β=-0.34; 95% CI: -0.51, -0.18) was associated with lower DD. Interviews elaborated on themes including the impact of pain and comorbidities on DD. Integrating the measurement and interview data indicated that experiences of DD varies by many characteristics based on medication type, HbA1c, and severity of DD. Elucidating contributors to DD in Veterans using mixed methods will improve our ability to develop a tailored intervention addressing DD in a manner relevant to Veteran populations.


A.Lewinski: Other Relationship; Otsuka America Pharmaceutical, Inc., PhRMA Foundation. S.J.Barcinas: None. H.B.Bosworth: Advisory Panel; Sanofi, Board Member; preventics diagnostics, Consultant; VIDYA, webmed, Research Support; Boehringer Ingelheim International GmbH, improved Patient Outcomes, Merck & Co., Inc., Novo Nordisk, Otsuka America Pharmaceutical, Inc. M.J.Crowley: None. A.S.Jeffreys: None. C.Coffman: None. C.Whitfield: None. T.Howard: None. A.Shapiro: None. E.S.Mcconnell: None. P.Tanabe: None.


Durham Center of Innovation to Accelerate Discovery and Practice Transformation (CIN 13-4) and VA HSR&D grants #18-234 (to AAL) and #08-027 (to HBB) .

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.