Aim: Our objective was to determine whether people with diabetes who ask for psychological support are those who are experiencing clinically significant levels of psychological distress.
Method: Three hundred people with diabetes were asked to complete psychometrically validated questionnaires that assessed subjective need and objective psychological distress.
Results: High levels of psychological distress were reported: 25% reported depressive symptomatology, 41% reported clinically significant levels of anxiety and 51% reported some binge eating behaviour. Participants also indicated a desire to talk to diabetes professionals about various problem areas in diabetes. Those reporting psychological distress, especially depression, were most likely to indicate a desire to talk to someone about living with diabetes.
Conclusions: Those who want to talk are those who need to talk. Future service development issues should acknowledge the needs and expressed wishes of service users.