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Psychosocial interventions for reducing diabetes distress in vulnerable people with type 2 diabetes mellitus: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Authors Mathiesen AS, Egerod I, Jensen T, Kaldan G, Langberg H, Thomsen T

Received 7 September 2018

Accepted for publication 20 October 2018

Published 17 December 2018 Volume 2019:12 Pages 19—33

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/DMSO.S179301

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Andrew Yee

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Steven F. Abcouwer


Anne Sophie Mathiesen,1 Ingrid Egerod,2 Tonny Jensen,1 Gudrun Kaldan,3 Henning Langberg,4 Thordis Thomsen3

1Department of Endocrinology, Abdominal Centre, Copenhagen University Hospital Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen, Denmark; 2Intensive Care Unit 4131, Copenhagen University Hospital Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen, Denmark; 3Abdominal Centre, Copenhagen University Hospital Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen, Denmark; 4CopenRehab, Section of Social Medicine, Department of Public Health, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark

Abstract: Diabetes distress (DD) disproportionately affects vulnerable people with type 2 diabetes mellitus and interventions targeting this population are therefore relevant. A systematic review and meta-analysis was performed to assess the evidence for an effect of psychosocial interventions for reducing DD, and, secondly HbA1c, depression, and health-related quality of life in vulnerable people with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Vulnerability encompasses poor glycemic control (HbA1c >7.5%) and at least one additional risk factor for poor diabetes outcomes such as low educational level, comorbidity, and risky lifestyle behavior. The interventions should be theoretically founded and include cognition- or emotion-focused elements. We systematically searched four databases for articles published between January 1995 and March 2018. Eighteen studies testing a variety of psychosocial interventions in 4,066 patients were included. We adhered to the Cochrane methodology and PRISMA guidelines. Review Manager 5.3 was used for data extraction and risk of bias assessment, and Grades of Recommendation, Assessment, Development and Evaluation for assessing the quality of the evidence. Data were pooled using the fixed or random effects method as appropriate. We investigated effects of individual vs group, intensive vs brief interventions, and interventions with and without motivational interviewing in subgroup analyses. To assess the robustness of effect estimates, sensitivity analyses excluding studies with high risk of bias and attrition >20% were conducted. We found low to moderate quality evidence for a significant small effect of psychosocial interventions on DD, and very low to moderate quality evidence for no effect on HbA1c, both outcomes assessed at 3, 6, 12, and 24 months follow-up. The effect on depression was small, while there was no effect on health-related quality of life. Exploratory subgroup analyses suggested that interventions using motivational interviewing and individual interventions were associated with incremental effects on DD. Likewise, intensive interventions were associated with significant reductions in both DD and HbA1c.

Keywords: diabetes distress, HbA1c, meta-analysis, psychosocial interventions, type 2 diabetes, vulnerable populations

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