Therapies that focus on the mind can help reduce emotional stress and improve quality of life in patients with diabetes, according to a recent study published online in Diabetes Care.
For the research, Jenny van So, of Tilburg University in the Netherlands, and colleagues, tested the effects of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) on a randomised group of 70 outpatients with type 1 or 2 diabetes and low levels of emotional well-being, and compared them with 69 patients receiving standard care .
Assessments conducted at baseline and at 4 and 8 weeks of follow-up showed that MBCT was more effective in decreasing stress, depressive symptoms and anxiety, as well as improving physical and mental quality of life.
“To the best of our knowledge, this is the first randomized trial to find immediate effects of a mindfulness-based intervention on emotional well-being and quality of life in outpatients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes,” van Son and colleagues said.
No significant effect on blood sugar control (HbA1c) or diabetes-specific distress was see, although patients with increased diabetes distress treated with MBCT showed a reduction in distress compared to those in the control group.
The team concluded that compared with usual care, MBCT led to a reduction in emotional distress and an increase in health-related quality-of-life in diabetic patients who had lower levels of emotional well-being.
Here at Diabetes.co.uk, we have long been championing the use of mindfulness and mindfulness-based therapies in diabetes management .
Mindfulness-based therapies have been shown to reduce stress – which contributes to fluctuating blood sugar levels – anxiety disorders such as GAD, panic attacks and blood pressure, thus protecting against heart attack, stroke and other cardiovascular events.
Dav Panesar, Mindfulness teacher and developer of Diabetes Management with Mindfulness (DMM) courses, explains: “Mindfulness based approaches have shown to be highly effective in reducing blood pressure, anxiety and management of depression and chronic pain.
“Mindfulness is fast becoming an efficient, highly effective and low-cost intervention in the management of diseases, provided it is delivered by those who have mindfulness as their every day practice”.
For more information on mindfulness, visit https://bit.ly/VVsETl.