Managing patients with diabetes distress: A quality improvement project
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The burdensome chronic disease of diabetes mellitus causes a significant emotional impact called “diabetes distress” leading to poor outcomes in patients. The importance of identifying and managing diabetes distress is currently being increasingly recognized, and guidelines from agencies like the American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommend routine screening for diabetes distress using valid screening tools. Interventions to address the issue are also recommended, one of them being Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) which was found to be beneficial in managing diabetes distress in several studies. The current project was designed to reduce diabetes distress and to improve outcomes in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM) using the framework of the health promotion model. The goal was to augment the comprehensive care of T2DM patients by the addition of the Problem Areas in Diabetes-5 (PAID-5) screening tool for diabetes distress, referral for and participation in CBT, and follow-up. The project employed multidisciplinary collaboration to deliver the intervention, and the feedback from the two-week follow-up call and the analysis of outcomes data indicated that the screening and intervention were beneficial. There was a significant reduction in diabetes distress and improvement in glycemic control in the patients. This project added to the knowledge base about the feasibility of screening and intervention in diabetes distress.