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Diabetes and mental health: management in primary care

David Morris explains how diabetes may cause distress and damage to a patient’s mental health

Any health care professional (HCP) who has regular contact with individuals with diabetes will be aware of mental health issues that impact on their diabetes care. Indeed, they may turn out to be the limiting factor in what can be achieved in their diabetes management. In common with many chronic diseases there is a higher risk of mental health problems in those with diabetes.

Thus, it is important to approach diabetes in a holistic fashion acknowledging that, alongside physical health, psychological and emotional factors are important considerations1. Tackling these issues can enable improved self-management of diabetes, reduction in diabetes complications and improved quality of life2. Barriers to dealing with mental health problems include time pressures, inadequate resources and lack of skills in this area3.

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