Aims: To examine the relationship between depressive symptomatology, diabetes-related distress and aspects of diabetes self-care in a cohort of individuals with Type 1 diabetes.
Methods: Individuals with Type 1 diabetes taking part in the Pittsburgh Epidemiology of Diabetes Complications Study completed the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression (CES-D) Scale and the Problem Areas in Diabetes (PAID) scale. Self-care was measured by physical activity in the past week and over the previous year, frequency of blood glucose/urine testing, smoking status and alcohol intake.
Results: Clinically significant levels of depressive symptomatology (i.e. scores >or= 16) were reported by 14% of the study population on the BDI and by 18% on the CES-D. There were strong correlations between depressive symptoms and diabetes-related distress (PAID scores) and physical activity. Multivariate analyses indicated that depression was independently associated with diabetes-related distress scores and with physical activity, but not with frequency of blood glucose testing.
Conclusions: These findings have implications for clinical practice and treatment of both psychological morbidity and diabetes. There may be significant effects of depression on aspects of diabetes self-care. Further prospective studies are required to confirm these findings.