One-third of all people living with diabetes in Denmark are not getting the psychological and emotional support they need to effectively cope with and manage their diabetes health, according to research presented at the American Diabetes Association’s (ADA’s) 80th Virtual Scientific Sessions in June 2020.
The Danish research study analysed responses from 8918 people living with diabetes in Denmark (71% had type 2 diabetes and 26% had type 1 diabetes) and 761 supporters/caregivers. Women made up more than half of the total respondents (51%) and were twice as likely to report the need for support from a psychologist (24% vs 12%).
The majority of study participants confirmed having access to quality medical diabetes care, but approximately 20% said they experienced a negative psychological impact due to the condition “most or all of the time”, with almost 20% also asserting that the condition was taking up too much of their daily life.
It was also reported that one in three people believed they did not receive the support they needed to cope with their emotions related to diabetes, and 18% of people living with diabetes perceived the need for a referral to a psychologist but had not been offered one.
Overall, 19% of respondents said there was a need for a major system-wide improvement in support for dealing with the mental aspect of living with diabetes.
“The psychological impact of diabetes and the opportunities that exist to mitigate it, including optimal access to novel technologies, better individual medical care, and person-centered self-management support services should not be under-estimated,” Soren E. Skovlund, lead author of the study said. “Integration of psychosocial aspects of living with diabetes is a prerequisite for improving the long-term health and quality of life outcomes for many people with diabetes and their families.”
The study, “Psychological Impact and Need for Psychological Care and Support: What Do People with Diabetes and Caregivers Say? Results of a Scientific Survey of 9,869 People with Diabetes and Caregivers in Denmark,” was presented at ADA 2020.