Among recent advances in the applications of psychology to diabetes research and care are developments of holistic approaches and evaluation of efforts to empower individuals in the management of their diabetes.More specifically, there have been several demonstrations of the considerable benefits of training patients to be aware of their blood glucose levels. Patients with hypoglycaemic unawareness have been found to benefit from such training and also appear to regain awareness after a period of hypoglycaemia avoidance. Research continues into the effects of blood glucose control on cognitive function, depression and eating disorders in diabetes, and into the effects of stress on diabetes control with increasing recognition of the importance of individual differences in the direction and magnitude of blood glucose response to stress. Methodological advances, particularly the increasing availability of psychological measures developed specifically for individuals with diabetes, have encouraged greater consideration of psychological issues and improved the quality of work in this field.
Department of Psychology, Royal Holloway, University of London, Egham, Surrey, and (Gamsu) Diabetes Centre, Royal Hallamshire Hospital, and Diabetes Centre, Northern General Hospital, Sheffield, UK.
Current Opinion in Psychiatry 1995, 6:400-406.
Clare Bradley, Department of Psychology, Royal Holloway, University of London, Egham, Surrey, TW20 0EX, UK.
Deborah Gamsu, Diabetes Centre, Northern General Hospital, Herries Road, Sheffield, S5 7AU, UK.