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Diabetes Care. 2014;37(3):617-24. doi: 10.2337/dc13-0762. Epub 2013 Oct 29.

Reductions in regimen distress are associated with improved management and glycemic control over time.

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Corresponding author: Danielle Hessler,


OBJECTIVE Cross-sectional and longitudinal associations among regimen distress (RD), self-management, and glycemic control were undertaken to explore mechanisms of operation among these variables. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS In a behavioral randomized control trial (RCT) to reduce RD, 392 adults with type 2 diabetes were assessed for RD, diet, exercise, medication adherence, and HbA1c at baseline and at 4 and 12 months. Associations among RD, self-management, and HbA1c were examined in cross-sectional analyses at baseline, in prospective analyses using baseline values to predict change over time, and in time-varying analyses. RESULTS At baseline, greater RD and poorer medication adherence were independently associated with higher HbA1c (P = 0.05 and P < 0.001, respectively), and greater RD was associated with poorer medication adherence (P = 0.03). No consistent pattern of significant prospective associations was found. Significant time-varying findings showed that decreases in RD were associated with improvements in medication adherence (P < 0.01), physical activity (P < 0.001), and HbA1c (P = 0.02) over time following intervention. Changes in self-management were not associated with changes in HbA1c over time. CONCLUSIONS In the context of an RCT to reduce distress, RD, self-management, and HbA1c were interrelated in cross-sectional and time-varying analyses. Decreases in RD were associated with improvements in both self-management and HbA1c over 12 months. Findings point to the complex and likely multifaceted pathways of association among these key constructs, with results indicating significant linkages between RD and both self-management and glycemic control over time.


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