Anxiety in Youth With Type 1 Diabetes

J Pediatr Nurs. 2017 Jan-Feb:32:64-71. doi: 10.1016/j.pedn.2016.08.007. Epub 2016 Sep 20.


Problem: Mental health conditions are prevalent in youth with type 1 diabetes (T1D). Anxiety symptoms and depressive symptoms are highly correlated and are two of the most prevalent mental health conditions in youth in the general population. The detrimental effect of depressive symptoms in youth with T1D has been well documented, but the effects of anxiety symptoms are not well understood.

Eligibility criteria: Studies were included if they were published between 1990 and 2015, and evaluated anxiety symptoms in a population of youth with T1D.

Sample: A total of 20 studies were identified from a sample of 338 papers.

Results: Anxiety symptoms were prevalent in youth with T1D. Anxiety symptoms were associated with higher glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) levels, poorer self-management and coping behaviors, depressive symptoms, fear of hypoglycemia, and lower blood glucose monitoring frequency. State anxiety and trait anxiety symptoms affected health outcomes differently. Girls were at a higher risk of anxiety symptoms than boys.

Conclusions: Anxiety symptoms in youth with T1D have detrimental effects on health outcomes, including self-management, quality of life, and HbA1c.

Implications: Future research should aim to improve our current screening and treatment practices.

Keywords: Anxiety; Anxiety symptoms; Mental health conditions; Type 1 diabetes.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Anxiety / epidemiology*
  • Child
  • Child Welfare / statistics & numerical data*
  • Comorbidity
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / drug therapy
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / epidemiology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / psychology*
  • Female
  • Glycated Hemoglobin
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Insulin / therapeutic use
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Quality of Life*


  • Glycated Hemoglobin A
  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Insulin