A systematic review of psychosocial outcomes following education, self-management and psychological interventions in diabetes mellitus

Patient Educ Couns. 2003 Sep;51(1):5-15. doi: 10.1016/s0738-3991(02)00213-6.


Self-management and psychological interventions for diabetes have become increasingly common and have shown some positive impact on glycemic control. The association of such interventions with psychosocial outcomes is however, less clear. The current review examines the impact of these interventions on psychosocial outcomes including depression, anxiety, adjustment and quality of life. A systematic search of the literature was performed on Medline, Embase and Psychlit. Reference lists were screened for studies that met inclusion/exclusion criteria. Studies were coded on outcomes both over time and relative to control groups. In addition studies were classified as being principally educational, self-management or psychological in type, and the different components in the intervention were determined. Thirty-six studies were identified. Detrimental effects were not generally seen following any type of intervention. Depression seemed to be particularly improved following psychological interventions, whilst quality of life improved more following self-management interventions. A number of methodological issues, such as the specificity of measure used, characteristics of the population and type of intervention were however, influential in the impact of interventions on outcomes. It is recommended that future studies would benefit from being larger with controlled designs, using diabetes specific measures and providing clearer descriptions of intervention components. This will allow greater understanding of what contexts different interventions are most suited to, and which components are key to, improving psychological well-being and quality of life.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Depression / etiology*
  • Depression / therapy*
  • Diabetes Mellitus / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Education as Topic*
  • Psychotherapy / methods*
  • Quality of Life
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Self Care*