Oral Presentation The Annual Scientific Meeting of the Australian Diabetes Society and the Australian Diabetes Educators Association 2013


Sarah Lam 1
  1. Royal North Shore Hospital, St Leonards, NSW, Australia

Introduction: Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) is a 10-week group program which prevents relapse in recurrent depression.1  A recent randomized controlled trial found it to be beneficial in reducing emotional distress in mixed groups of  people with T1DM and T2DM.2  However, the issues faced by people with TIDM and T2DM are different.3  The current paper will report on a pilot program of an MBCT group exclusively for people with T1DM.

Aim: It was hoped that emotional distress would decrease following the group. Additionally, it was hoped that limiting the group to people with T1DM would allow the creation of strong bonds between group members, thus also functioning as a relevant support group. As approximately 32% of people with T1DM would like to be involved in a support group3 , this would fill a currently unmet need.

Method: Participants completed self-report measures before and after the group, and at 1 month follow-up. The validated questionnaires used were the Diabetes Distress Scale, the Depression Anxiety and Stress Scale, and the Mindful Attention Awareness Scale. Qualitative measures were also taken, such as comments made by participants about their experiences.

Results: All nine participants who started the group also completed it, and their feedback was overwhelmingly positive. In the anonymous evaluations that were collected, the program was rated 9/10 or 10/10 in “importance” by almost all participants. Asked to write why, they noted that both the mindfulness component and the support component had been invaluable. Quantitative measures showed reductions in emotional distress, and increases in mindfulness.

Conclusion: The MBCT program shows promise as an intervention for reducing emotional distress in people with T1DM. Furthermore, the qualitative results suggest that creating a group for only T1DM may have enhanced the supportive benefits of the group.

  1. Segal, Z.V., Williams, J.M.G., &Teasdale, J.D. (2013) Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for Depression: A New Approach to Preventing Relapse. New York: Guilford
  2. van Son, J., Nyklicek, I., Pop, V.J., Blovan Son, J., Nyklicek, I., Pop, V.J., Blonk, M.C., Erdtsieck, R.J., Spooren, P.F., Toorians, A.W., Pouwer, F. (2012) The Effects of a Mindfulness-Based Intervention on Emotional Distress, Quality-of-Life, and HbA1c in Outpatients with Diabetes (DiaMind)- A randomised Controlled Trial. Diabetes Care. 2013 Apr;36(4):823-83
  3. Diabetes MILES - Australia. 2011 Survey Report