Social support is related to patient self-care and health status. Patients' psychosocial issues play an important role in diabetes care.
This study investigates correlations among social support, depression, and anxiety in patients with diabetes.
A cross-sectional study design and purposive sampling were used. One hundred eleven patients with type-2 diabetes were recruited from three regional teaching hospitals in northern, central, and southern Taiwan, respectively. Questionnaires used included the social support and psychological referral inventory, Beck depression inventory, and Beck anxiety inventory.
Approximately 12.6% of the study population had depression, and 27.0% had anxiety. Depression and anxiety were positively correlated (r = .65, p < .01), whereas depression was negatively correlated with the sum of disease control types (r = -0.26, p < .01) and social support (r = -0.27, p <.01). The sum of disease control types and social support were the most important explanatory factors for depression in patients, explaining 45.5% of variance. Anxiety was correlated positively with age (r = .26, p < .01), total number of complications (r = .31, p < .01), and depression (r = .65, p < .01). Anxiety correlated negatively with weight (r = -0.20, p < .05) and sum of disease control types (r = -0.25, p < .05). The above variables were important explanatory factors for anxiety, accounting for 15.2% of variance.
Psychological factors, such as depression and anxiety, are common symptoms in patients with diabetes. If social support can be strengthened in these patients, then psychological factors can be improved. Professional care providers should focus on reducing the patient depression and anxiety levels, strengthening social support, and providing referrals to psychology-related professionals.