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09-19-2017 | Diabetes distress | EASD 2017 | News

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Identifying diabetes distress may help direct healthcare resources

medwireNews: Researchers find that routinely asking patients with type 1 diabetes to complete the Diabetes Distress Scale (DDS)-2 may direct more healthcare resources to those who need them and help to improve outcomes.

The team included the sole two questions from the DDS-2 in a brief assessment given to patients every time they attend routine diabetes consultations. They found that the median score among 138 assessed patients fell significantly from 3.0 to 2.5 over 180 days of follow-up, and that change in DDS-2 score significantly correlated with the change in glycated hemoglobin, which fell from 8.2% to 7.8%.

On closer examination the decrease in DDS-2 score was confined to patients with a high baseline score of at least 3.0. These patients had significantly more healthcare contacts over a median of 464 days than patients with lower scores, accounted for by more emails and letters sent out and by more attended outpatient appointments.

Presenting the results at the EASD annual meeting, Shahnal Shah (King’s College London, UK) stressed that screening for diabetes distress did not result in a rise in DDS-2 scores among patients with initially low scores, although she conceded that the reduction among those with high scores could be partly accounted for by a natural return of patients’ distress to average levels over time (regression to the mean).

By Eleanor McDermid

medwireNews is an independent medical news service provided by Springer Healthcare. © 2017 Springer Healthcare part of the Springer Nature group

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