Facilitating healthy coping in patients with diabetes: a systematic review

Diabetes Educ. Jan-Feb 2013;39(1):33-52. doi: 10.1177/0145721712464400. Epub 2012 Oct 16.


Purpose: The purpose of this study is to summarize recent literature on approaches to supporting healthy coping in diabetes in 2 specific areas: (1) the impact of different approaches to diabetes treatment on healthy coping and (2) the effectiveness of interventions specifically designed to support healthy coping.

Methods: A PubMed search identified 129 articles published August 1, 2006, to April 30, 2011, addressing diabetes in relation to emotion, quality of life, depression, adjustment, anxiety, coping, family therapy, behavior therapy, psychotherapy, problem solving, couples therapy, or marital therapy.

Results: Evidence suggests that treatment choice may significantly influence quality of life, with treatment intensification in response to poor metabolic control often improving quality of life. The recent literature provides support for a variety of healthy coping interventions in diverse populations, including diabetes self-management education, support groups, problem-solving approaches, and coping skills interventions for improving a range of outcomes; cognitive behavior therapy and collaborative care for treating depression; and family therapy for improving coping in youths.

Conclusions: Healthy coping in diabetes has received substantial attention in the past 5 years. A variety of approaches show positive results. Research is needed to compare the effectiveness of different approaches in different populations and determine how to overcome barriers to intervention dissemination and implementation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Anxiety / etiology
  • Anxiety / therapy*
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Depression / etiology
  • Depression / therapy*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / psychology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / therapy
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / psychology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / therapy
  • Female
  • Health Promotion
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care
  • Problem Solving
  • Quality of Life
  • Self Care / psychology*