Diabetes care: Addressing psychosocial well-being in young adults with a newly developed assessment tool

Caroline A.E. Bachmeier, Claire Waugh, Margaret Vitanza, Trish Bowden, Carolyn Uhlman, Cameron Hurst, Satomi Okano, Helen Barrett, Neisha D'Silva, Helen D'Emden, Trisha O'Moore-Sullivan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Psychosocial assessment should be part of clinic visits for people with diabetes mellitus (DM). 

Aims: To assess the usage and acceptance of a diabetes psychosocial assessment tool (DPAT) and to profile the clinical and psychosocial characteristics of young people with diabetes. 

Methods: Over a 12-month period, young adults (18–25 years) attending diabetes clinic were offered DPAT. The tool embeds validated screening tools including the Problem Areas in Diabetes 20 (PAID-20) questionnaire, the Patient Health Questionnaire-4 (PHQ-4) and the World Health Organization Well-Being Index-5 (WHO-5). Baseline clinical data were collected and questions regarding social support, body image, eating concerns, hypoglycaemia and finances were included. 

Results: Over the 12 month, the form was offered to 155 participants (64.6% of eligible attendees). The majority (96.1%) had type 1 DM with a mean duration of 10.5 (±5.3 SD) years. Average glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c) was 8.7% (±1.5 SD) (or 71.2 mmol/mol ±16.5 SD). Severe diabetes-related distress (PAID-20 ≥ 40) was found in 19.4%. Low WHO-5 scores (28–50 points) were seen in 14.8%. PHQ-4 identified 25.8% with anxiety and 16.1% with depression. Significant weight, shape and eating concerns were identified in 27.1, 26.6 and 28.4%, respectively. Serious hypoglycaemia concerns were raised by 4.5%. 

Conclusion: DPAT revealed a high prevalence of psychosocial stress among young adults with DM. The tool was easy to use and accepted by patients and may aid streamlining referrals to relevant members of a multidisciplinary team.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)70-76
Number of pages7
JournalInternal Medicine Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020
Externally publishedYes


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