, Volume 15, Issue 3, pp 167-172

How does anger coping style affect glycemic control in diabetes patients?

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Abstract

Background: Although various forms of anger have been found to influence the psychological and physical health in many chronic illness populations, little is known about the effects of anger in diabetes patients. Purpose: Associations between anger coping style, diabetes-related psychological distress, and glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) were examined in 100 diabetes patients. Method: Participants completed the Problem Areas in Diabetes and Coping Styles questionnaires, and had HbA1c assessments at study entry (Time 1 = T1), six months (T2), and 12 months after T1 (T3). Results: Linear regression analyses revealed T1 anger coping associated with T3 HbA1c (β = .22, p < .05), but T1 HbA1c did not associate with T3 anger coping (β = .13, p = NS). After controlling for significant covariates (of gender, age, education, type and duration of diabetes), regression analyses revealed that T2 diabetes-related psychological distress partially mediated this association. Conclusion: These results suggested that higher levels of anger coping may promote poorer glycemic control in diabetes patients by provoking greater diabetes-related distress. Areas of future research on this topic are discussed.

This research was supported by the National Science Foundation (National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Grant), the National Institute of Mental Health (R01 MH57663), and the Harvard Medical School Priscilla White Fellowship, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (R01 NIDDK24315, R01 NIDDK60115). The authors gratefully acknowledge the reviewers’ thoughtful suggestions and comments, as well as Stephanie Horton, Scarlett Mai, Alexandra Toner, and Brent Tatsuno for their assistance.