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DiNardo MM, Greco C, Phares AD, Beyer NM, Youk AO, Obrosky DS, Morone NE, Owen JE, Saba SK, Suss SJ, Siminerio L. Effects of an integrated mindfulness intervention for veterans with diabetes distress: a randomized controlled trial. BMJ open diabetes research & care. 2022 Mar 1; 10(2).
INTRODUCTION: US military veterans have disproportionately high rates of diabetes and diabetes-related morbidity in addition to being at risk of comorbid stress-related conditions. This study aimed to examine the effects of a technology-supported mindfulness intervention integrated into usual diabetes care and education on psychological and biobehavioral outcomes. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: Veterans (N = 132) with type 1 or 2 diabetes participated in this two-arm randomized controlled efficacy trial. The intervention arm received a one-session mindfulness intervention integrated into a pre-existing program of diabetes self-management education and support (DSMES) plus one booster session and 24 weeks of home practice supported by a mobile application. The control arm received one 3-hour comprehensive DSMES group session. The primary outcome was change in diabetes distress (DD). The secondary outcomes were diabetes self-care behaviors, diabetes self-efficacy, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, mindfulness, hemoglobin A1C (HbA1C), body weight, and blood pressure. Assessments were conducted at baseline, 12 weeks, and 24 weeks. Participant satisfaction and engagement in home practice were assessed in the intervention group at 12 and 24 weeks. RESULTS: Intention-to-treat group by time analyses showed a statistically significant improvement in DD in both arms without significant intervention effect from baseline to 24 weeks. Examination of distal effects on DD between weeks 12 and 24 showed significantly greater improvement in the intervention arm. Improvement in DD was greater when baseline HbA1C was < 8.5%. A significant intervention effect was also shown for general dietary behaviors. The secondary outcomes diabetes self-efficacy, PTSD, depression, and HbA1C significantly improved in both arms without significant intervention effects. Mindfulness and body weight were unchanged in either group. CONCLUSIONS: A technology-supported mindfulness intervention integrated with DSMES showed stronger distal effects on DD compared with DSMES control. Examination of longer-term outcomes, underlying mechanisms, and the feasibility of virtual delivery is warranted. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: NCT02928952.