Diabetes Distress Among Adolescents with Type 1 Diabetes: a Systematic Review

Curr Diab Rep. 2016 Jan;16(1):9. doi: 10.1007/s11892-015-0694-2.


Diabetes distress (DD) refers to the negative emotions arising from living with diabetes and the burden of self-management. Among adults, the prevalence and significance of DD are well established, but this is not the case among adolescents. This systematic review investigated among adolescents with type 1 diabetes: the prevalence of DD; demographic, clinical, behavioral and psychosocial correlates of DD and interventions that reduce DD. Consistent with adult studies, around one third of adolescents experience elevated DD and this is frequently associated with suboptimal glycemic control, low self-efficacy and reduced self-care. Three measures of DD have been developed specifically for adolescents, as those designed for adults may not be sufficiently sensitive to adolescent concerns. Interventions reducing DD in the short term include strategies such as cognitive restructuring, goal setting and problem solving. Further work is needed to investigate sustainability of effect. Rigorous research is needed to progress this field among adolescents.

Keywords: Adolescent; Distress; Emotions; Psychological stress; Review; Type 1 diabetes.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Blood Glucose
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Self Care
  • Self Efficacy*
  • Stress, Psychological*


  • Blood Glucose