Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci 2006; 10 (2): 69-74

Psychological stress measure in type 2 diabetes

G.M. Trovato, D. Catalano, G.F. Martines, D. Spadaro, D. Di Corrado*, V. Crispi*, G. Garufi, S. Di Nuovo*

Istituto di Medicina Interna e Terapia Medica, Facoltà di Medicina e Chirurgia, *Cattedra di Psicologia, Facoltà di Scienze della Formazione, University of Catania – Catania (Italy)

Psychological stress has been implicated as a cause of several psychosomatic disorders, but also as a factor that can unfavourably influence many diseases including diabetes mellitus. Measure of psychological stress in diabetes was performed by Psychological Stress Measure (PSM), a validated instrument, designed using 49 items drawn from descriptors generated by focus groups on stress. Clinical and psychological framework was assessed in a cohort of 100 type 2 diabetic patients (30 m, 70 f), aged 66.99 ± 13.68 years considering disease grade, complications and level of instruction. Three other questionnaires were administered concurrently to all patients: Sickness Impact Profile (SIP), Functional Living Index (FLI) and SF-36 QOL. ANOVA statistical testing and Spearman correlation matrix were used also vs socio-cultural and clinical profile.

Gender, obesity, diet compliance, smoking do not affect PSM response. Hypertensive patients and those with family history of diabetes show lower PSM scores, according to a sort of moderator effect on stress of concurrent and/or previous experience with chronic disease. Neuro-muscular ailments are more prevalent in women; men vs women experience severe limitations of their working capacities and relational possibilities, with severe discomfort. In the whole, higher scores of PSM (greater stress p < 0.01) and lower scores of FLI (fair well-being perception; p < 0.01) are reciprocally related inside any school instruction level.
Despite the great reciprocal association of the PSM vs FLI and SIP, no significant correlation is found between PSM vs SF-36 QOL. Socio-cultural elements interfere, and particularly instruction level quantified as school grades achieved, with the manner of living their disease. Interventions on psychological distress of type 2 diabetes mellitus patients is warranted, specially in the groups with lower levels of instruction which may need an attentive strategy for achieving a satisfactory coping with this disease.

Corresponding author: Guglielmo M. Trovato, MD; e-mail:

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G.M. Trovato, D. Catalano, G.F. Martines, D. Spadaro, D. Di Corrado*, V. Crispi*, G. Garufi, S. Di Nuovo*
Psychological stress measure in type 2 diabetes

Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci
Year: 2006
Vol. 10 - N. 2
Pages: 69-74