Understanding Stress Among Adults Diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes at a Younger Age
Objective: Little data exists regarding the emerging population of adults diagnosed with type 2 diabetes (T2DM) at a younger age. This study was conducted to gain insight related to diabetes distress and self-efficacy among adults diagnosed with T2DM between 18-40 years of age. Research Design and Methods: Individuals diagnosed with T2DM between 18-40 years of age (n = 118) completed an online survey in either English or Spanish. The survey included two validated scales to understand levels of diabetes distress and self-efficacy. Independent samples t-tests were conducted to examine differences among gender, while Pearson correlation coefficients were conducted to examine the relationships of current age, age of diagnosis, duration of diabetes, HbA1c values, and insulin use with multiple domains of diabetes distress and self-efficacy. Results: Both regimen-related distress and interpersonal distress were reported at levels worthy of clinical attention. Overall diabetes-related distress, emotional-burden, and physician-related distress were slightly below the level of clinical significance. Bivariate analysis suggests strong positive relationships between HbA1c values and each domain of diabetes distress. Additionally, negative correlations were found between insulin use and overall diabetes distress, emotional-burden, physician-related distress, regimen-related distress, and interpersonal distress. Conclusions: Findings suggest adults diagnosed with T2DM at a younger age experience levels of diabetes distress worthy of clinical attention, particularly regarding regimen-related and interpersonal distress. T2DM programs should include psychosocial education and communication strategies for improving social support to enhance overall quality of life for this population.
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