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Alexithymia in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus: the role of anxiety, depression, and glycemic control

Authors Avci D, Kelleci M

Received 19 April 2016

Accepted for publication 21 June 2016

Published 20 July 2016 Volume 2016:10 Pages 1271—1277

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/PPA.S110903

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Doris Leung

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Dr Johnny Chen

Dilek Avci,1 Meral Kelleci2

1Department of Nursing, Faculty of Health Sciences, Bandirma Onyedi Eylul University, Balikesir, 2Department of Nursing, Faculty of Health Sciences, Cumhuriyet University, Sivas, Turkey

Objective: This study was aimed at determining the prevalence of alexithymia in patients with type 2 DM and the factors affecting it.
Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted with 326 patients with type 2 DM. Study data were collected with the Personal Information Form, Toronto Alexithymia Scale, and Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale. Glycemic control was assessed by glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c) results. The analysis was performed using descriptive statistics, chi-square test, Pearson’s correlation, and logistic regression analysis.
Results: Of the patients, 37.7% were determined to have alexithymia. A significant relationship was determined between alexithymia and HbA1c, depression, and anxiety. According to binary logistic regression analyses, alexithymia was 2.63 times higher among those who were in a paid employment than those who were not, 2.09 times higher among those whose HbA1c levels were ≥7.0% than those whose HbA1c levels were <7.0%, 3.77 times higher among those whose anxiety subscale scores were ≥11 than those whose anxiety subscale scores were ≤10, and 2.57 times higher among those whose depression subscale scores were ≥8 than those whose depression subscale scores were ≤7.
Conclusion: In this study, it was determined that two out of every five patients with DM had alexithymia. Therefore, their treatment should be arranged to include mental health care services.

Keywords: diabetes mellitus, alexithymia, mental symptoms, HbA1c

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