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When Is Diabetes Distress Clinically Meaningful? : Establishing cut points for the Diabetes Distress Scale

, PHD, ABPP 1 , , PHD 1 , , PHD, CDE 2 , , PHD 3

Diabetes Care

American Diabetes Association

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      Abstract

      OBJECTIVETo identify the pattern of relationships between the 17-item Diabetes Distress Scale (DDS17) and diabetes variables to establish scale cut points for high distress among patients with type 2 diabetes.RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODSRecruited were 506 study 1 and 392 study 2 adults with type 2 diabetes from community medical groups. Multiple regression equations associated the DDS17, a 17-item scale that yields a mean-item score, with HbA1c, diabetes self-efficacy, diet, and physical activity. Associations also were undertaken for the two-item DDS (DDS2) screener. Analyses included control variables, linear, and quadratic (curvilinear) DDS terms.RESULTSSignificant quadratic effects occurred between the DDS17 and each diabetes variable, with increases in distress associated with poorer outcomes: study 1 HbA1c (P < 0.02), self-efficacy (P < 0.001), diet (P < 0.001), physical activity (P < 0.04); study 2 HbA1c (P < 0.03), self-efficacy (P < 0.004), diet (P < 0.04), physical activity (P = NS). Substantive curvilinear associations with all four variables in both studies began at unexpectedly low levels of DDS17: the slope increased linearly between scores 1 and 2, was more muted between 2 and 3, and reached a maximum between 3 and 4. This suggested three patient subgroups: little or no distress, <2.0; moderate distress, 2.0–2.9; high distress, ≥3.0. Parallel findings occurred for the DDS2.CONCLUSIONSIn two samples of type 2 diabetic patients we found a consistent pattern of curvilinear relationships between the DDS and HbA1c, diabetes self-efficacy, diet, and physical activity. The shape of these relationships suggests cut points for three patient groups: little or no, moderate, and high distress.

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      The Primary Care Evaluation of Mental Disorders (PRIME-MD) was developed as a screening instrument but its administration time has limited its clinical usefulness. To determine if the self-administered PRIME-MD Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ) has validity and utility for diagnosing mental disorders in primary care comparable to the original clinician-administered PRIME-MD. Criterion standard study undertaken between May 1997 and November 1998. Eight primary care clinics in the United States. Of a total of 3000 adult patients (selected by site-specific methods to avoid sampling bias) assessed by 62 primary care physicians (21 general internal medicine, 41 family practice), 585 patients had an interview with a mental health professional within 48 hours of completing the PHQ. Patient Health Questionnaire diagnoses compared with independent diagnoses made by mental health professionals; functional status measures; disability days; health care use; and treatment/referral decisions. A total of 825 (28%) of the 3000 individuals and 170 (29%) of the 585 had a PHQ diagnosis. There was good agreement between PHQ diagnoses and those of independent mental health professionals (for the diagnosis of any 1 or more PHQ disorder, kappa = 0.65; overall accuracy, 85%; sensitivity, 75%; specificity, 90%), similar to the original PRIME-MD. Patients with PHQ diagnoses had more functional impairment, disability days, and health care use than did patients without PHQ diagnoses (for all group main effects, P<.001). The average time required of the physician to review the PHQ was far less than to administer the original PRIME-MD (<3 minutes for 85% vs 16% of the cases). Although 80% of the physicians reported that routine use of the PHQ would be useful, new management actions were initiated or planned for only 117 (32%) of the 363 patients with 1 or more PHQ diagnoses not previously recognized. Our study suggests that the PHQ has diagnostic validity comparable to the original clinician-administered PRIME-MD, and is more efficient to use.
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        A number of studies have computed the minimally important difference (MID) for health-related quality of life instruments. To determine whether there is consistency in the magnitude of MID estimates from different instruments. We conducted a systematic review of the literature to identify studies that computed an MID and contained sufficient information to compute an effect size (ES). Thirty-eight studies fulfilled the criteria, resulting in 62 ESs. For all but 6 studies, the MID estimates were close to one half a SD (mean = 0.495, SD = 0.155). There was no consistent relationship with factors such as disease-specific or generic instrument or the number of response options. Negative changes were not associated with larger ESs. Population-based estimation procedures and brief follow-up were associated with smaller ESs, and acute conditions with larger ESs. An explanation for this consistency is that research in psychology has shown that the limit of people's ability to discriminate over a wide range of tasks is approximately 1 part in 7, which is very close to half a SD. In most circumstances, the threshold of discrimination for changes in health-related quality of life for chronic diseases appears to be approximately half a SD.
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          The summary of diabetes self-care activities measure: results from 7 studies and a revised scale.

          To review reliability, validity, and normative data from 7 different studies, involving a total of 1,988 people with diabetes, and provide a revised version of the Summary of Diabetes Self-Care Activities (SDSCA) measure. The SDSCA measure is a brief self-report questionnaire of diabetes self-management that includes items assessing the following aspects of the diabetes regimen: general diet, specific diet, exercise, blood-glucose testing, foot care, and smoking. Normative data (means and SD), inter-item and test-retest reliability, correlations between the SDSCA subscales and a range of criterion measures, and sensitivity to change scores are presented for the 7 different studies (5 randomized interventions and 2 observational studies). Participants were typically older patients, having type 2 diabetes for a number of years, with a slight preponderance of women. The average inter-item correlations within scales were high (mean = 0.47), with the exception of specific diet; test-retest correlations were moderate (mean = 0.40). Correlations with other measures of diet and exercise generally supported the validity of the SDSCA subscales (mean = 0.23). There are numerous benefits from standardization of measures across studies. The SDSCA questionnaire is a brief yet reliable and valid self-report measure of diabetes self-management that is useful both for research and practice. The revised version and its scoring are presented, and the inclusion of this measure in studies of diabetes self-management is recommended when appropriate.
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            Author and article information

            Affiliations
            1Department of Family & Community Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California
            2Behavioral Diabetes Institute, San Diego, California
            3School of Nursing, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California
            Author notes
            Corresponding author: Lawrence Fisher, fisherl@ 123456fcm.ucsf.edu .
            Journal
            Diabetes Care
            diacare
            dcare
            Diabetes Care
            Diabetes Care
            American Diabetes Association
            0149-5992
            1935-5548
            February 2012
            16 January 2012
            : 35
            : 2
            : 259-264
            22228744
            3263871
            1572
            10.2337/dc11-1572
            © 2012 by the American Diabetes Association.

            Readers may use this article as long as the work is properly cited, the use is educational and not for profit, and the work is not altered. See http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/ for details.

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            Categories
            Original Research
            Clinical Care/Education/Nutrition/Psychosocial Research

            Endocrinology & Diabetes

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