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Diabetes Distress Among Dyads of Patients and Their Health Supporters: Links With Functional Support, Metabolic Outcomes, and Cardiac Risk.

Lee AA, Heisler M, Trivedi R, Obrosky DS, Mor MK, Piette JD, Rosland AM. Diabetes Distress Among Dyads of Patients and Their Health Supporters: Links With Functional Support, Metabolic Outcomes, and Cardiac Risk. Annals of behavioral medicine : a publication of the Society of Behavioral Medicine. 2021 Oct 4; 55(10):949-955.

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BACKGROUND: Patients with diabetes (PWD) often experience diabetes distress which is associated with worse self-management and glycemic control. In contrast, PWD who receive support from family and friends (supporters) have better diabetes outcomes. PURPOSE: To examine the associations of PWD diabetes distress and supporters'' distress about PWDs'' diabetes with supporters'' roles and PWD cardiometabolic outcomes. METHODS: We used baseline data from 239 adults with Type 2 diabetes and their supporters participating in a longitudinal trial. PWD and supporter diabetes distress (high vs. low) were determined using the Problem Areas in Diabetes Scale-5. Outcomes included PWD-reported help from supporters with self-care activities, supporter-reported strain, PWD metabolic outcomes (glycemic control [HbA1c], systolic blood pressure [SBP], and non-HDL cholesterol) and 5 and 10 year risk of cardiac event (calculated using the United Kingdom Prospective Diabetes Study algorithm). RESULTS: PWDs with high diabetes distress were more likely to report that their supporters helped with taking medications, coordinating medical care, and home glucose testing (p''s < .05), but not more likely to report help with diet or exercise. High supporter distress was associated with greater supporter strain (p < .001). High supporter diabetes distress was associated with higher PWD HbA1c (p = .045), non-HDL cholesterol (p = .011), and 5 (p = .002) and 10 year (p = .001) cardiac risk. CONCLUSIONS: Adults with high diabetes distress report more supporter help with medically focused self-management but not with diet and exercise. Supporter distress about PWD diabetes was consistently associated with worse outcomes. PWD diabetes distress had mixed associations with their diabetes outcomes.

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