Study of the effects of personality and diabetes distress on glycemic control

This is a research study on the effects of personality and diabetes distress on glycemic control and self-care in diabetes.

The study is being conducted by Emma Nieminen (, an undergraduate student in Psychology at the University of Edinburgh. Supervising this project is Dr Alex Weiss. This project has been approved by the Psychology Research Ethics Committee.

In this study, you will be asked to do the following:
- answer demographic questions about yourself and your medical history
- answer a personality questionnaire
- answer a questionnaire on distress caused by diabetes
- answer self-care questions about your diabetes care

The study typically takes around 20 minutes to complete.

The purpose of this study is to look at the effect of personality and diabetes distress on glycemic control (as measured by HbA1c) and self-care in diabetes. The researchers hypothesis that higher levels of diabetes distress and certain personality factors are associated with poorer glycemic control and self-care. Your participation will allow the researchers to establish whether these connections exist, and if they do, how strong they are. This will provide insight into preventing diabetes distress as well as preventative measures for individuals who exhibit certain personality characteristics.

Take the survey

The posting of this study has been approved by the TuDiabetes Administration.

I’m not diabetic but I am the mother of a 10 yr old type 1. I swear my stress levels regarding his diabetes negatively affects his glycemic control :frowning:

I just completed the questionnaire and it's a pretty good one.


I found the survey interesting but odd too. I don't get much of anything from docs (although my first appointment with the new doc, he said "that makes sense..." to my scheme to split basal rates every 1/2 hour to fine tune a compound rate. Unfortunately, the staff seems to suck, batting .250 on returning 4x phone calls. Not quite the Mendoza line but close...) but feel pretty much on top of things.

I like the new picture :-). My wife works in geri-psych and her elderly, often poor T2 patients get almost no help from their physicians and they need help. They need basic education, they need feedback and they need adjustments to their drug regimes. The lack of physician assistance is often a major stressor for them. For many - if not for all of us - the MD questions make sense.


Thanks Maurie! I like it too. It was 9 F this AM when I woke up and I figured it was time for the winter plumage! I agree that the plight of people who because it sort of makes sense, will *only* listen to the doctor, who doesn't get them going on testing BG or fixing it and end up in a bad situation that, from accounts of people who've beaten that (e.g. Brian (BSC)) paradigm to improve themselves.

It was easy, thoughtful and works towards a problem often overlooked--the weight of having and dealing with diabetes for many years. Thanks, Emily! I was glad to help.

does anyone know if we will have available the resultls of this study, or will it be like the other one we did on here-that lots of people did it and then we couldnt even view results?

If you want to find out about the results of this study you can contact the researcher so that you will be notified by email of the findings.

There you go. It was on the first page before taking the test.

Hopefully they look at it from the other end as well....
'Impact of Glycemic control on personality and diabetes distress.'

Poor BG management (in some cases lack of good tools) impacts ability to think, anger management, etc.

Hello! I will definitely be posting up the results of the study once my dissertation is submitted in March of next year :)

That's definitely a good idea! The point that I will be trying to make in my conclusions is that diabetes distress has a negative effect on self-care, which in turn leads to a higher HbA1c, which then completes the loop and causes increased diabetes distress. And hopefully further research will be able to apply this to clinical practice and treatment of mental health difficulties that diabetics face!

Thanks for your help, Spock!

Thank you for your help, Maurie!

There is actually quite a lot of recent research that looks at parents' personality and stress levels and their effect on children's glycaemic control... so you're right on the money there, Jennifer! Those things are definitely related in some way :)

It gets tricky. I went through a period where my BG wasn't managed essentially because I was getting poor medical care, and the high BG had severe impact on both my personality and 'diabetes distress'. Once I got a good endocrinologist and the tools needed to control my BG, those issues went away immediately.

Thank you so much to everyone who has already participated, I am SO close to my target number of participants so this is the final push! I would massively appreciate if you could ask any family or friends who are eligible to participate :) THANK YOU!

***WARNING: this post contains mention of psychological/emotional distress due to diabetes. Please be aware of this before reading!***

Hello all! As promised, I’ll share some of my findings from the study I completed last spring, which I will be attempting to publish in the near future. So here’s a sneak peak ;)

If you’d like to discuss any aspects of my study in further detail or ask any questions, please don’t hesitate to email me on

I set out to determine whether personality traits and diabetes-related distress (known as subclinical depressive symptoms related to type 1 diabetes) have an effect on glycaemic control and self-care of people with type 1 diabetes.

- Gender: Female participants showed overall higher diabetes distress and poorer glycaemic control than males.
- Treatment type: There was no significant difference in self-care or diabetes distress between individuals who used injections or an insulin pump.
- Age: Older participants showed better self-care and better glycaemic control.

The personality trait Agreeableness and diabetes distress were significant predictors of glycaemic control.

Age, Extraversion, diabetes distress, and glycaemic control were significant predictors of self-care.

Interestingly, diabetes distress was a mediating factor in the relationship between Neuroticism and diabetes management. This means that whereas lower emotional stability is related to poorer management, this is actually more likely explained by emotional distress.

My study has important implications for healthcare professionals in managing the treatment of type 1 diabetics, especially taking into account the effect of psychological distress caused by emotionally and behaviourally challenging self-care.

Thanks for sharing the results. If you publish this I would really like a reference.

So a key question I have is when you identify factors that were predictors of glycemic control or self-care were these positive or negative predictors?