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Diabet Med. 2008 Jun;25(6):716-21. doi: 10.1111/j.1464-5491.2008.02442.x. Epub 2008 Apr 23.

A psychosocial taxonomy of patients with diabetes: validation in a primary care setting.

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Department of Family Medicine, Creighton University School of Medicine, Omaha, NE 68102, USA.



The aims of this study were (i) to extend a psychosocial taxonomy of patients with diabetes to a primary care setting, and (ii) to validate the taxonomy using more sophisticated clustering methods across an array of psychological dimensions independent of demographic and medical variables.


In a cross-sectional study, 111 adults with Type 2 diabetes seen in a primary care setting completed the Multidimensional Diabetes Questionnaire and the Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI). They also provided diabetes-specific self-report measures along with HbA(1c).


Four psychosocial patient profiles were identified using model-based cluster analysis in a US primary care setting. The four profiles represent a replication of two and refinement of a third profile found previously in French-speaking patients at diabetes education centres. Validation of the profiles using the BSI was replicated for depression and extended to other psychological dimensions. The validity and distinctiveness of the four psychosocial profiles were independent of demographic and diabetes-specific medical variables.


Replication and extended validation of the psychosocial taxonomy into primary care may allow healthcare workers to supplement medical treatments with psychosocial interventions that can improve outcomes for patients with diabetes that are practical, individually tailored, and cost-effective.

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