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Diabetes and psychological well-being

Aug 26, 2015

Living with diabetes can have a big impact on the psychological well-being of a person with diabetes. Making self-management decisions every day, dealing with undesirable outcomes and expectations of the environment (e.g. family, friends, health professionals) can lead to diabetes related distress. In addition, the risk of developing mental health problems, including depression and anxiety, is increased in people with type 2 diabetes. Depression is associated with poor diabetes self-management, impaired glycaemic control, poor microvascular and macrovascular outcomes, higher health-care costs, and compromised quality of life.

A number of studies have demonstrated improved outcomes when diabetes and depression are treated simultaneously in primary care. However, although effective psychological and pharmacological treatments are available, the under-recognition of depression and the stigma attached to mental illness represent major barriers to treatment in all countries. Regular screening for depression and other forms of psychological distress has been recommended by several professional bodies. However, not all countries follow these recommendations, nor do they have national or local guidelines for screening for depression or the facilities available for treating people with type 2 diabetes.

We would like to know how in your organisation/country health professionals act upon the comorbidity of diabetes and mental health problems. Are there local or national guidelines? Do you have screening tools? What treatments do you prefer? And how do you support people with diabetes to prevent mental health problems?

In your organisation/country, how do health professionals act upon the comorbidity of diabetes and mental health problems?

Information about the discussion leader

The discussion will be moderated by Professor Cathy E. Lloyd (Professor at the Faculty of Health & Social Care of the Open University, UK) & María Gabriela Ruiz Morosini (psychologist at Consultores en Diabetes in Buenos Aires, Argentina).


  1. Lloyd CE, Sartorius N, Cimino LC, Alvarez A, Guinzbourg de Braude M, Rabbani G, et al. The INTERPRET-DD study of diabetes and depression: a protocol. Diabet Med. 2015 Jul;32(7):925–34.

  2. Snoek FJ, Skinner TC, editors. Psychology in diabetes care. 2nd ed. Chichester, England ; Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons; 2005. 250 p.

  3. Polonsky WH, Fisher L, Earles J, Dudl RJ, Lees J, Mullan J, et al. Assessing Psychosocial Distress in Diabetes: Development of the Diabetes Distress Scale. Diabetes Care. 2005 Mar 1;28(3):626–31.

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