Improving diabetes management with mindfulness-based stress reduction [presentation] Presentation uri icon


  • Background/Aims: Managing diabetes can be challenging and stressful for many people resulting in poor diabetes control and increased mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. Methods: We conducted a pilot study of mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR), a combination of mindfulness meditation and gentle yoga, to look at whether it could help patients better manage their diabetes. We recruited 38 people with diabetes and 2 HbA1c values > 8 in the prior 18 months to complete a community-based MBSR course. Participants attended eight weekly intervention sessions and participated in home-based MBSR practice. Surveys and HbA1c values were obtained at pre and post-intervention, Cohen’s-d statistic was estimated for survey outcomes. Pre-post change was evaluated using paired t-test. Results: Participants were 31- to 78-years-old (M=57), the majority were female (68 %), white (70%), employed, with some college education. Mean HbA1c pre-intervention was 9.18. Participants showed significant improvement in pre-post measures of HbA1c (change .73%, p=.000), overall mental health (Cohen’s-d .69, p=.001), stress (Cohen’s-d -.76, p=.001), depression (Cohen’s-d .62, p= .001), and anxiety (Cohen’s-d .66, p=.001). There was also improvement in two measures of diabetes management: Problem Area in Diabetes Questionnaire (Cohen’s-d -.71, p=.002) and the Diabetes Empowerment Scale (Cohen’s-d .80, p=.000). Conclusions: These results suggest that MBSR may offer a safe and effective method for helping people better manage diabetes and improve their mental health. Effect sizes were large and significant pre-post differences were found indicating that a larger clinical trial is warranted.