The detection and management of diabetes distress in people with type 1 diabetes

Curr Diab Rep. 2015 Nov;15(11):101. doi: 10.1007/s11892-015-0660-z.


Diabetes distress (DD) represents a significant clinical burden in which levels of DD are related to both glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c) and some self-management behaviours. DD is related to, but different from, depression. Differences in DD experienced in people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes have been observed. Commonly measured using the Problem Areas in Diabetes Scale (PAID) and the Diabetes Distress Scale (DDS), rates of elevated DD in research study participants range from 20 to 30 %. Risk factors for elevated DD in type 1 diabetes are longer duration of diabetes, severe hypoglycaemia, younger age and being female. A systematic review of intervention studies assessing DD identified eight randomised controlled trials (RCTs) and nine pre-post design studies. Only three studies targeted DD with the intervention. Intervention types were diabetes self-management education (DSME), psychologically informed self-management and devices. DSME pre-post studies, namely the Dose Adjustment For Normal Eating (DAFNE) programme, produced more consistent improvements in DD and HbA1c at follow-up. Psychologically informed self-management was more heterogeneous, but several RCTs were effective in reducing DD. Group interventions offered the greatest benefits across intervention designs.

Keywords: Correlation; Diabetes distress; Interventions; Review; Type 1.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / therapy*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / therapy
  • Glycated Hemoglobin / analysis
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Self Care


  • Glycated Hemoglobin A