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Self-Compassion, Metabolic Control and Health Status in Individuals with Type 2 Diabetes: A UK Observational Study
Aims Self-compassion is a modifiable characteristic, linked with psychological well being and intrinsic motivation to engage in positive health behaviours. We aimed to explore levels of self-compassion in individuals with type 2 diabetes (T2DM) and their association with levels of depression, diabetes-related distress and glycaemic control.
Methods A cross-sectional study in 176 patients with T2DM in Leicester, UK, using three self-report questionnaires: the Self Compassion Scale (SCS); Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9), and Diabetes Distress Scale (DDS-17). Demographic data, medical history and blood samples were collected.
Results Majority of participants were male (n=120, 68.2%), with median [IQR] age and HbA1c of 66 [60, 71] years and 7.3 [6.7, 8.0] %, respectively. Multivariable analysis adjusting for age, gender, ethnicity and diabetes duration revealed significant association of all three scores with HbA1c: per one standard deviation increase of each score, a -0.16% reduction in HbA1c for SCS (p=0.027), 0.21% increase for PHQ-9 (p=0.012) and 0.33% increase for DDS-17 (p<0.001).
Conclusions Higher levels of self-compassion and lower levels of depressive symptoms were associated with significantly better long-term diabetes control. These results reinforce the importance of emphasis on psychological parameters, including self-compassion, in the multi-disciplinary management of T2DM. We identify this as a potential area for intervention in UK practice.
Received: 24 February 2019
Received: 14 April 2019
Accepted: 18 April 2019
03 June 2019 (online)
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