AIMS: To examine whether diabetes distress (DD), when measured by three different instruments, was associated differently with self-efficacy, self-care activity, medication adherence and disease control in people with Type 2 diabetes mellitus.
METHODS: A cross-sectional study in three health clinics. DD was assessed with the 17-item Diabetes Distress Scale, the 2-item DDS-2 (DDS-2) and the 5-item Problem Areas in Diabetes Scale (PAID-5). Dependent variables included self-efficacy, self-care activities, medication adherence, HbA1c, systolic and diastolic blood pressure (SBP, DBP). Multiple linear and logistic regression were used in analyses.
RESULTS: In total 338 participants (56% women), with a mean age of 61 years and diabetes duration of 9.8 years, were included. DDS-2 was an independent determinant of SBP (β=1.89, 95% CI 0.14, 3.64), DBP (β=1.19, 95% CI 0.16, 2.21) and blood pressure target (OR=2.09, 95% CI 1.12, 3.83). PAID-5 was an independent determinant of medication adherence (adjusted β= -0.05, 95% CI -0.08, -0.01) and self-care activities (OR= 0.50, 95% CI 0.26, 0.99).
CONCLUSIONS: Associations of DD with important aspects of diabetes care are substantially influenced by confounders and depend on the way DD is measured. Our findings call for a judicious use of different DD measures in clinical practice and research. The study is registered on ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT02730754).