Despite improvements in pharmacological treatments and methods of care and care delivery, the burden of living with diabetes remains an ongoing challenge, as many people with diabetes are at increased risk of mental health disorders, psychological disturbances and functional problems associated with living with diabetes. Person-centred collaborative care that also meets the psychological needs of the individual is not available to many people with diabetes. The present article examines the role of psychological factors in the onset of diabetes and in relation to living with diabetes. It is argued that the pursuit of psychological well-being is worthy of individual attention in the care of people with diabetes and should not be contingent upon attainment of somatic indices of health. The barriers to attaining this goal are examined, including the costs of treating (or not treating) psychological problems in people with diabetes. Recommendations on how to improve diabetes care are offered, including psychological interventions that are both evidence-based and cost-effective.
© 2014 The Authors. Diabetic Medicine © 2014 Diabetes UK.