Association between spirituality and depression in adults with type 2 diabetes

Diabetes Educ. May-Jun 2012;38(3):427-35. doi: 10.1177/0145721712440335. Epub 2012 Mar 20.


Purpose: The purpose of the study was to examine the association between spirituality and depression among patients with type 2 diabetes.

Methods: This study included 201 adult participants with diabetes from an indigent clinic of an academic medical center. Participants completed validated surveys on spirituality and depression. The Daily Spiritual Experience (DSE) Scale measured a person's perception of the transcendent (God, the divine) in daily life. The Center for Epidemiologic Studies-Depression scale assessed depression. Linear regression analyses examined the association of spirituality as the predictor with depression as the outcome, adjusted for confounding variables.

Results: Greater spirituality was reported among females, non-Hispanic blacks, those with lower educational levels, and those with lower income. The unadjusted regression model showed greater spirituality was associated with less depression. This association was mildly diminished but still significant in the final adjusted model. Depression scores also increased (greater depression risk) with females and those who were unemployed but decreased with older age and non-Hispanic black race/ethnicity.

Conclusions: Treatment of depression symptoms may be facilitated by incorporating the spiritual values and beliefs of patients with diabetes. Therefore, faith-based diabetes education is likely to improve self-care behaviors and glycemic control.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Depression / psychology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / psychology*
  • Educational Status
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Linear Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Self Care / psychology*
  • Sex Distribution
  • Spirituality*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires