Scholar Highlight

PUBLICATION: Diabetes distress in a Medicaid sample: The role of psychosocial and health-related factors

IS-2 Scholar, Niko Verdecias, DrPh, MPH, (2020 Cohort) was first author of the recently published work in the Journal of Diabetes and Its Complications – Diabetes distress in a Medicaid sample: The role of psychosocial and health-related factors.



Diabetes-related distress can negatively affect disease management leading to worse complications, especially among marginalized populations. Prior studies mostly focus on distress’ impact on diabetes outcomes, with few examining distress predictors. The current study examined the impact of social needs on distress on its own and after controlling for other socio-demographic, psychosocial, and health factors.


Adult Medicaid beneficiaries with type 2 diabetes and a recent HbA1c test documented in claims data (<120 days) were recruited for a 12-month social needs intervention trial. Baseline survey data assessed diabetes distress, social needs, psychosocial factors and health factors. Descriptive statistics were obtained, and bivariate and multivariable logistic regression analyses were used to identify predictors of moderate to severe distress.


Bivariate analyses revealed social needs, stress, depression, comorbidity and comorbidity burden, poor self-rated health, insulin use, a self-reported HbA1c ≥ 9.0, and difficulty remembering to take diabetes medications were all positively associated with greater odds of diabetes distress; greater social support, diabetes self-efficacy, and age were negatively associated. Four variables remained significant in the multivariate model: depression, diabetes self-efficacy, self-reported HbA1c ≥ 9.0, and younger age.


Targeted distress screening efforts might prioritize people with HbA1c values >9.0, greater depression, and worse diabetes self-efficacy.

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