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Psychosomatics. 2013 Jan-Feb;54(1):44-51. doi: 10.1016/j.psym.2012.08.004.

Putting PAID to diabetes-related distress: the potential utility of the problem areas in diabetes (PAID) scale in patients with diabetes.

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School of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine and the Black Dog Institute, University of New South Wales, Randwick, NSW 2031, Australia.



Distress and depression are commonly reported negative affects in people with diabetes (PWD), and may influence glycemic control. 'Distress' can be measured as general or diabetes-related. 'Depression' is considered through symptom severity or episodes of depressive disorder, both potentially derived by the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9). While current depressive disorder is found to affect the course of diabetes mellitus (DM), past depressive disorder may have a similar impact.


To test the relationships between DM-distress (measured by the Problem Areas in Diabetes instrument [PAID]) and glycemic control, while considering the effects of general distress; depression severity; and both current and previous depressive disorder.


In a diabetic service, 184 type 1 (n = 51) and type 2 (n = 133) PWD completed the PAID, PHQ-9 depression scale from the Patient Health Questionnaire, Kessler-10 psychological distress (K10), and Short-Form Survey (SF-12) instruments. Glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) levels measured on the day of recruitment were recorded from the case notes.


DM-related distress correlated positively with HbA1c, PHQ-9 depression, K10, and SF-12 MCS (mental component summary) scores, (all p < 0.01); and negatively with age (p < 0.01). Regression analysis revealed a significant association between PAID with PHQ-9 depression scores (p < 0.01) and with HbA1c (p < 0.01). PWD with past depressive disorder had higher PAID scores than those without (p < 0.05), and this was significant even after controlling for current depression scores (p < 0.05).


In PWD, DM-specific distress measured by the PAID correlated significantly with impaired glycemic control. Both past and current depressions are independently associated with DM-distress. The PAID is discussed as a potential screening tool.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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