Tuesday, May 13, 2008

DIABETES DISTRESS SCALE

Recently contained in the Annals of Family Medicine a distress screening
instrument was created for Primary Care Physicians and other Healthcare Providers who interface with people with IRD(aka type 2 Diabetes).
The problems listed can readily apply to those of us with T1DM as well, which is why I will list them here.
This is another example of T1DM getting *short shrift* when it comes to Diabetes. In spite of that, we can still use this tool and yes, you may copy and use it(answer it as well), provide it to your PCP, Endocrinologist or/and CDE so that they might know "how you have been feeling w/Diabetes 24/7."
...........and think of how much time you will save during that 15min interlude that your Physician only has with you.lol
You can even share it with your Spouse or Significant Other so that they will know, *how you really feel.*

Directions Living with diabetes can sometimes be tough. There may be many problems and hassles concerning diabetes and they can vary greatly in severity. Problems may range from minor hassles to major life difficulties. Listed below are 17 potential problems that people with diabetes may experience. Consider the degree to which each of the items may have distressed or bothered you DURING THE PAST MONTH and circle the appropriate number.
Please note that we are asking you to indicate the degree to which each item may be bothering you in your life, NOT whether the item is merely true for you. If you feel that a particular item is not a bother or a problem for you, you would circle "1." If it is very bothersome to you, you might circle "6."

1. Feeling that diabetes is taking up too much of my mental and physical energy every day.
1
2
3
4
5
6

2. Feeling that my doctor doesn't know enough about diabetes and diabetes care.
1
2
3
4
5
6

3. Feeling angry, scared and/or depressed when I think about living with diabetes.
1
2
3
4
5
6

4. Feeling that my doctor doesn't give me clear enough directions on how to manage my diabetes.
1
2
3
4
5
6

5. Feeling that I am not testing my blood sugars frequently enough.
1
2
3
4
5
6

6. Feeling that I am often failing with my diabetes regimen.
1
2
3
4
5
6

7. Feeling that friends or family are not supportive enough of my self-care efforts (eg planning activities that conflict with my schedule, encouraging me to eat the "wrong" foods).
1
2
3
4
5
6

8. Feeling that diabetes controls my life.
1
2
3
4
5
6

9. Feeling that my doctor doesn't take my concerns seriously enough.
1
2
3
4
5
6

10. Not feeling confident in my day-to-day ability to manage diabetes.
1
2
3
4
5
6

11. Feeling that I will end up with serious long-term complications, no matter what I do.
1
2
3
4
5
6

12. Feeling that I am not sticking closely enough to a good meal plan.
1
2
3
4
5
6

13. Feeling that friends or family don't appreciate how difficult living with diabetes can be.
1
2
3
4
5
6

14. Feeling overwhelmed by the demands of living with diabetes.
1
2
3
4
5
6

15. Feeling that I don't have a doctor who I can see regularly about my diabetes.
1
2
3
4
5
6

16. Not feeling motivated to keep up my diabetes self-management.
1
2
3
4
5
6
17. Feeling that friends or family don't give me the emotional support that I would like.
1
2
3
4
5
6

ANNALS OF FAMILY MEDICINE ♦ WWW.ANNFAMMED.ORG ♦ VOL. 6, NO. 6, ♦ MAY/JUNE 2008
Copyright © 2008 The Annals of Family Medicine, Inc

6 comments:

Scott K. Johnson said...

Thanks for sharing this Barry.

The question that especially hits home for me is #1 "Feeling that diabetes is taking up too much of my mental and physical energy every day.".

That mental energy balance is something I seem to constantly struggle with.

Scott said...

It would be interesting to see the score distributions among people by both diabetes type, and "compliant" vs. "noncompliant". My suspicion is that noncompliant patients would actually not feel particularly stressed about most issues here, suggesting that the real issue (particularly as it relates to stress( has more to do with the treatment plan than the disease itself.

BetterCell said...

Hi Scott and Scott K........
thanks for your in-put.
I think that all of us w/T1DM have felt and continue to feel many of the stressors related to Diabetes. I do.............
As to your feeling Scott, "that noncompliant patients would actually not feel particularly stressed about most issues here," I have to say, that once the process of being *burnt-out* begins then it is very easy as well as symptomatic to develop behaviors that are noncompliant in both types of Diabetes.
Thus a person with Diabetes can go from being extremely "Compliant" to one of "Non-Compliance." It depends a lot on the type of support he/she has in living w/T1DM 24/7.

Minnesota Nice said...

Wow, BC, these are very pertinent points to contemplate.
I agree that noncompliance snowballs on itself and one unwise behavior leads to another, just like a lineup of dominoes. That momentum is hard to stop.
Personally, I don't consider db taking up a lot of "time", probably because it's invaded my life to such a degree that I can't separate the two. It just is.
I have big troubles getting along with all types of medical professionals, but that would also be the case if I didn't have db (except that I'd probably have fewer drs appts to remind me of that fact).
The major way that db has disrupted my life is the fear of complications - fear that at times overshadws everything. This was especially true in my early years. Now I have a sort of "resigned hope" that I maybe have some good years left.

I wonder how the scores compare with newly diagnosed vs veterans, vs those 10 years out. Surely burnout would factor in, in various degrees.

Very interesting. I hope therapists can make use of this. Thanks.

BetterCell said...

"Personally, I don't consider db taking up a lot of "time", probably because it's invaded my life to such a degree that I can't separate the two. It just is."
The above is a very good point you made Kathy.

It seems, for me anyway, that when T1DM is diagnosed at a very young age and you "grow up with it" the description that now refers to the Diabetes is no longer *It* but Me/Myself.
This is an awful analogy Kathy, but regarding T1DM.........The Parasite has become Me and I It."

Jecel said...

HI!, I would like to ask if you could show how to interpret the result? I and my groupmates are using this tool to conduct a research but we couldn't fin an accurate and clear interpreation of the results.

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New York, New York, United States
I do not give up my Autonomy,especially to the Medical Profession. Passionate, Creative, Able to see Beauty within Simplicity, I Am Not A Diabetic, rather I have Diabetes (there is a big difference between the two on many levels).Type 1 Diabetes since 5 years of age. Belief in G-D