Psychology in Diabetes Care

By Frank J. Snoek; T. Chas Skinner | Go to book overview

Preface to the First Edition

Psychosocial issues are increasingly recognized as being of primary importance in diabetes care. This is illustrated by the burgeoning number of publications on behavioural and social issues in both psychological and medical journals. In addition, an increasing number of international conferences and symposia on diabetes are beginning to address cognitive, emotional and behavioural issues surrounding diabetes, its complications and management. With this growing awareness of the importance of psychology in diabetes care, health care professionals experience an increasing need for easily accessible background information and practical guidelines on behavioural issues. However, only a handful of books are available for clinicians who wish to know what to do about the psychological aspects of diabetes care, from supporting patients and families coping with diagnosis and following the treatment regimen, through to complex psychological problems such as the diagnosis and management of depression and eating disorders. These are the issues this book hopes to begin to address. It seeks to bridge the gap between psychological research on the self-care and management of diabetes and the delivery of care and services provided by the diabetes care team. As such, this book is seen as an accompaniment to Clare Bradley’s Handbook of Psychology and Diabetes (1994), which focuses on psychological assessment in diabetes. The content of this book is targeted at all individuals involved in the delivery of diabetes, including our fellow psychologists.

When considering who to ask to contribute to this book, we were acutely aware of two groups of psychologists. The largest and most well established group is the Council of Behavioural Medicine and Psychology of the American Diabetes Association (ADA). To date, these North American behavioural scientists have generated the overwhelming majority of psychological research and publications, and have compiled an excellent how-to do-it book under the editorship of Barbara Anderson and Richard Rubin (1996). Fortunately, we can see steadily increasing European work in this field, facilitated by the EASD Study Group, Psychosocial Aspects of Diabetes (PSAD). This group continues to develop and bring a distinctly European perspective to the psychology of diabetes care. Therefore, when seeking contributors for this compilation, we have endeavoured to reflect the work of both groups of researchers, thereby offering a true international perspective on psychology in diabetes care.

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