Objective: A meta-analysis was performed to summarize the relations between coping dimensions (i.e., avoidance, approach, emotion-focused, and problem-focused) and indices of adjustment (i.e., overall, depression, anxiety, glycemic control) in individuals with diabetes.
Methods: Relevant methodological and statistical information was culled from 21 primary studies consisting of 3,381 people with diabetes. The correlation coefficient was used as the target effect size.
Results: Use of approach and problem-focused coping was associated with better overall adjustment (small-to-medium effect sizes). Avoidance and emotion-focused coping were not significantly related to overall adjustment. However, negative effect sizes medium-to-large in magnitude were found between emotion-focused coping and specific indices of adjustment (anxiety, depression).
Conclusions: These findings suggest that coping methods aimed at assuaging both the concomitant negative feelings and specific stressors, such as meeting with doctors and engaging in a new treatment regimen commonly associated with diabetes management, largely improve psychological health. However, these relations are dependent upon both the specific coping method used and the index of adjustment assessed.