Psychology in Diabetes Care

Psychology in Diabetes Care

Psychology in Diabetes Care

Psychology in Diabetes Care


Psychosocial issues have long been acknowledged to have a crucial role in the successful treatment of people with diabetes. An understanding of these issues can enable health care professionals to assist their patients effectively. The second edition of the acclaimed title Psychology in Diabetes Care gives background information and practical guidelines needed by healthcare professionals to address the cognitive, emotional and behavioural issues surrounding diabetes management.

The book bridges the gap between psychological research on self-care and management of diabetes, and the delivery of care and services provided by the diabetes care team.

Written jointly by psychologists active in diabetes research and practising clinicians, Psychology in Diabetes Care, Second Edition provides a practical evidence-based approach to intervention in diabetes care.


Diabetes is a very human condition. Even to those of us with many years of clinical practice in diabetes, the infinite diversity of individual response to diabetes is a constant source of amazement but also professional enhancement. People are different and behave differently, and often unexpectedly. This is what makes involvement in diabetes care such a three-dimensional experience. Diabetes and its consequences have a fundamental physical basis, but these are deeply intertwined with complex psychosocial issues. Such interrelationships are considerable: sometimes subtle; sometimes overwhelming.

Awareness of these issues is crucial to enabling people with diabetes to lead a healthy and fulfilled life. Empathy and appreciation of the psycho-social needs of patients are essential requirements for those involved in diabetes care, and indeed most do seem to acquire that intuitive understanding of patient-professional relationships so fundamental to good clinical care. However, the world of psychology has progressed; much more is known and the evidence base of psychological management in diabetes care is becoming clearer.

Despite the widespread and increasing prevalence of diabetes in the population, the diagnosis at a personal level can still be a considerable shock and source of distress to the individual and family concerned. Suddenly a label is applied that seemingly sets them aside from others, that invokes dire consequences to both current well-being and to future health. Such initial fears and misgivings may result from misunderstandings and ignorant, albeit well intentioned, advice from others. The misguided term ‘mild diabetes’ may be used inappropriately to allay fears and anxieties, but in so doing it undermines the essential need to manage diabetes with due consideration and respect.

Recent published studies and clinical experience indicate that future prospects for people with diabetes should be very positive and encouraging, but despite the substantial improvements in treatments and technology a demanding daily discipline is still required.

Realistic information and education needs to be very much geared to the individual, taking into account the very diversity of such individual needs and perspectives. Necessary messages should be understood, but balancing the immediate influences on quality of life with longer term objectives on future health. Living with diabetes is a lifelong educational exercise and a similar experience for those involved in diabetes care. No amount of theoretical knowledge can match . . .

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