Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Diabetes affects patients' well-being and also impacts spouses

Date:
January 27, 2011
Source:
Purdue University
Summary:
Older patients with diabetes who are not dealing well with the disease are likely to have symptoms of depression, and spouses of older patients also suffer distress related to diabetes and its management, according to research.

Older patients with diabetes who are not dealing well with the disease are likely to have symptoms of depression, and spouses of older patients also suffer distress related to diabetes and its management, according to research from Purdue University.

Related Articles


"Responsibilities and anxieties can differ for patients with diabetes and their spouses, but each may experience stress, frustration and sadness at times related to the demands of living with this disease," said Melissa M. Franks, an assistant professor of child development and family studies. "We know spouses often support their partners, but in our work we want to know what form their involvement takes and how the disease and its management affect both the patient and spouse."

Franks and her team found that the distress spouses feel is similar to what patients feel, and this could contribute to their own depressive symptoms such as irritability or sadness. These depressive symptoms come from their own anxieties about living with the disease or caring for someone with the disease and not necessarily because the other person is struggling.

Researchers also found that when male patients were concerned about the management of their diabetes, their depressive symptoms were elevated more than those for female patients with similar levels of concerns.

"This gender difference is consistent with prior work showing that male patients who are not managing their disease well tend to experience greater depressive symptoms," Franks said. "And while we saw this difference between male and female patients, we did not see the same pattern of distress between their respective spouses. This is surprising, because one might assume that the spouse would be as worried, or, according to family roles, that wives might worry more. However, more research, especially long-term observations, is needed."

The findings, based on statistical models with 185 couples older than 50, appeared in the December issue of the Family Relations journal. The patients and spouses completed individual surveys that measured distress related to diabetes, such as adherence to treatment recommendations, as well as depressive symptoms. The gender effects were measured by comparing the couples' responses. There were 67 female patients and 118 male patients, and each couple was screened to make sure only one person had diabetes.

"Because spouses' distress is not always directly linked to feelings of their partner, it tells us that we need to pay more attention to the spouse as well as the patient," she said. "Understanding the triggers for depressive symptoms can help practitioners and experts better care for patients and spouses as individuals and as a unit.

"We also found that many people reported some depressive symptoms, and some reported levels indicative of risk for clinical depression. It's important to consider depressive symptoms because they may signal concerns and problems that could be alleviated with treatment."

Diabetes affects about one in five Americans over the age of 60, and the majority of those people have Type 2 diabetes, which is a disease of the endocrine system. Type 2 diabetes, also referred to as adult-onset diabetes, is caused by insufficient secretion of insulin and resistance to insulin, which is problematic because it lessens the ability of cells to absorb glucose from the bloodstream. The incidence of the disease, which is considered a leading cause of death, is increasing as more people are overweight and sedentary.

The disease is managed daily through diet, exercise and medications. Complications, such as poor blood circulation, vision impairment, heart disease and stroke, are possible if the disease is not managed. In this study, spouses often reported that the disease's daily management as well as the fear of their loved one's living with diabetes were common concerns.

Franks co-authored the study with Todd Lucas from Wayne State University, Mary Ann Parris Stephens from Kent State University, Karen S. Rook from the University of California at Irvine and Richard Gonzalez at University of Michigan.

This work was funded by the National Institute on Aging and the Kent State University-Summa Health System Center for the Treatment and Study of Traumatic Stress. Franks' future studies will look at diet management in the context of distress and depression for patients and their spouses.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Purdue University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Melissa M. Franks, Todd Lucas, Mary Ann Parris Stephens, Karen S. Rook, Richard Gonzalez. Diabetes Distress and Depressive Symptoms: A Dyadic Investigation of Older Patients and Their Spouses. Family Relations, 2010; 59 (5): 599 DOI: 10.1111/j.1741-3729.2010.00626.x

Cite This Page:

Purdue University. "Diabetes affects patients' well-being and also impacts spouses." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 January 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110127090941.htm>.
Purdue University. (2011, January 27). Diabetes affects patients' well-being and also impacts spouses. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110127090941.htm
Purdue University. "Diabetes affects patients' well-being and also impacts spouses." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110127090941.htm (accessed December 20, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) It's hard to resist those delicious but fattening carbs we all crave during the winter months, but there are some ways to stay satisfied without consuming the extra calories. Vanessa Freeman (@VanessaFreeTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) More than 100 motorcyclists hit the road to spread awareness messages about Ebola. Nearly 7,000 people have now died from the virus, almost all of them in west Africa, according to the World Health Organization. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Protein-Filled Foods to Energize You for the New Year

The Best Protein-Filled Foods to Energize You for the New Year

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) The new year is coming and nothing will energize you more for 2015 than protein-filled foods. Fitness and nutrition expert John Basedow (@JohnBasedow) gives his favorite high protein foods that will help you build muscle, lose fat and have endless energy. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins