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Couples Intervention May Help Partners of Patients with Diabetes

A new Diabetic Medicine study reveals that couples interventions may have beneficial effects for partners of individuals with type 2 diabetes.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019 12:01 am EST
"Providers often worry about engaging partners, for fear they'll become a member of the ‘diabetes police’ and cause tension in the relationship. We found that involved partners benefited emotionally, and also felt better about their relationship, as they worked together to deal with the challenges of diabetes"

A new Diabetic Medicine study reveals that couples interventions may have beneficial effects for partners of individuals with type 2 diabetes.

The study was a three-arm randomized telephone intervention trial comparing outcomes of couples calls (CC), individual calls (IC), and diabetes education calls (DE). While the focus of the trial was on diabetes outcomes for the patients, the authors also assessed whether partners who participated derived benefit.

Compared with partners in the IC and DE groups (who were not involved), CC partners (who were actively involved to promote collaboration and communal coping) had greater reductions in diabetes distress (the worries and stress they feel because their partner has diabetes), greater increases in marital satisfaction, and some improvements in diastolic blood pressure. There were no significant group differences in weight loss, or in changes related to diet and activity that might foster weight loss, suggesting that these behaviors would need to be directly targeted at partners to help them change.

“Providers often worry about engaging partners, for fear they'll become a member of the ‘diabetes police’ and cause tension in the relationship. We found that involved partners benefited emotionally, and also felt better about their relationship, as they worked together to deal with the challenges of diabetes,” said lead author Dr. Paula Trief, of SUNY Upstate Medical University.

Additional Information

Link to Study: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/dme.13871  

About Journal 

Diabetic Medicine, the official journal of Diabetes UK, is published monthly simultaneously, in print and online editions.

The journal publishes a range of key information on all clinical aspects of diabetes mellitus, ranging from human genetic studies through clinical physiology and trials to diabetes epidemiology. We do not publish original animal or cell culture studies unless they are part of a study of clinical diabetes involving humans. Categories of publication include research articles, reviews, case reports, editorials, commentaries, and correspondence. All material is peer-reviewed.

We aim to disseminate knowledge about diabetes research with the goal of improving the management of people with diabetes. The journal therefore seeks to provide a forum for the exchange of ideas between clinicians and researchers worldwide. Topics covered are of importance to all healthcare professionals working with people with diabetes, whether in primary care or specialist services.
Surplus generated from the sale of Diabetic Medicine is used by Diabetes UK to know diabetes better and fight diabetes more effectively on behalf of all people affected by and at risk of diabetes as well as their families and carers.

About Wiley

Wiley is a global leader in research and education. Our online scientific, technical, medical, and scholarly journals, and our digital learning, assessment, certification and student-lifecycle services and solutions help universities, academic societies, businesses, governments and individuals to achieve their academic and professional goals. For more than 200 years, we have delivered consistent performance to our stakeholders. The Company's website can be accessed at www.wiley.com.

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