Serious Psychological Distress and Diabetes: A Review of the Literature


With the development of a measure of serious psychological distress (SPD) in 2002, more attention is being paid to the association of SPD with diabetes outcomes and processes of care. We review the literature on the relationship between SPD and diabetes processes of care and outcomes, as well as the literature on the relationship between specific mental health diagnoses and diabetes processes of care and outcomes during the 2010 to 2011 period. There is an extensive literature on the association of mental health diagnoses with diabetes outcomes, especially for depression. Because the Kessler scale measures a much broader range of mental health issues than any specific DSM-IV/Structured Clinical Interview for DSM Disorders diagnosis and is designed to assess SPD at the population level, additional research needs to be conducted both in clinical settings and using large administrative datasets to examine the association between SPD and diabetes outcomes and processes of care.

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Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: •• Of major importance

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The authors acknowledge and appreciate the resources provided by the Center for Disease Prevention and Health Interventions for Diverse Populations HSR&D program (grant REA 08–261) and the Ralph H. Johnson Veterans Affairs Medical Center. The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the Department of Veterans Affairs.


No potential conflicts of interest relevant to this article were reported.

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Correspondence to Leonard E. Egede.

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Egede, L.E., Dismuke, C.E. Serious Psychological Distress and Diabetes: A Review of the Literature. Curr Psychiatry Rep 14, 15–22 (2012).

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  • Kessler
  • Psychological distress
  • Serious psychological distress
  • Diabetes
  • Depression
  • Schizophrenia
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • PTSD
  • Diabetes distress
  • Anxiety