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Enhancing Diabetes Management Through Personality Assessment: A Pilot Study

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Abstract

The aims of this study were to evaluate the utility of therapeutic assessment (therapeutic assessment) as a brief intervention to target reduction in A1C levels and to assess the levels of personality functioning and broad trait domains described in the DSM-5 Alternative Model for Personality Disorders in a sample of patients with Type 2 diabetes and their relationship to A1C levels at baseline and follow-up. Participants (n = 99) were recruited from a primary care office and provided feedback on how their personality functioning and pathological personality traits might influence their diabetes management. Results indicated that 66.25% of participants receiving TA feedback decreased their A1C levels below 7. Those who improved reported less difficulty with intimacy and trends toward higher levels of personality functioning and lower levels of interpersonal detachment. Results suggest that providing TA feedback is worthy of further investigation for considering its therapeutic effects in helping patients to manage Type 2 diabetes.

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Acknowledgements

The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of the Department of Veterans Affairs or of the United States government. Special appreciation is expressed to the physicians and staff of Trinity Health, IHA Medical Group – Primary Care, Cherry Hill Village, Canton, MI.

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Correspondence to Steven K. Huprich.

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This study has been approved by the University of Detroit Mercy Institutional Review Board and has been performed in accordance with standards laid down by the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki, its later amendments, and research code of conduct provided by the American Psychological Association.

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Appendices

Appendix

Feedback Report Sample for a Participant Who Scored Highly on LPFS-BF-2.0 Intimacy and Self-Direction

Self-Direction.

You tend to struggle with how to take charge of things in your life and manage them in a way that works best for you. With your diabetes, you might find it hard to carry out your doctor’s plan or to follow through with the food plan or diabetes management plan that has been put in place.

It would be helpful for you to talk with your health care providers about the best way to take charge of managing your diabetes, such as having regular calendars and reminders about what to do and when to do it.

Intimacy.

It is hard for you to feel close to others or to believe they care about you. As such, you might have a hard time talking with your doctor about something as personal as diabetes, weight management, diet plans, and insulin plans. You may be embarrassed sharing these things about yourself or talking about how well you have or have not followed the things your doctor has suggested for you. In fact, being in the exam room might be very uncomfortable, since it seems so close and personal.

Even though this is uncomfortable, your health could suffer if you do not spend time with your health care providers. In fact, your life could be shortened by not coming to these appointments and doing what your doctor suggests. So while getting information about how to manage your disease could be overwhelming, it also can really help you feel better, have more energy, and enjoy more things in life.

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Huprich, S.K., Roelk, B.C. & Poppe, T. Enhancing Diabetes Management Through Personality Assessment: A Pilot Study. J Clin Psychol Med Settings (2024). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10880-024-10002-y

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