Managing Type 2 diabetes as a couple: The influence of partners’ beliefs on diabetes distress over time

Emma Berry*, Mark Davies, Martin Dempster

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
191 Downloads (Pure)


Aims: Partners and spouses have an important role in supporting healthy self-care in adults with Type 2 diabetes. While evidence has shown that the beliefs held by people with diabetes influence emotional wellbeing, little is known about the long-term impact of partners’ illness beliefs on diabetes distress. Methods: Persons with Type 2 diabetes (pwt2d) and their partners completed a questionnaire at baseline (N = 75 couples) and 12 months later (N = 45 couples). Measures included demographic/clinical parameters, the Revised Illness Perception questionnaire, and the Diabetes Distress Scale. A repeated measures ANOVA was used to examine change in measures over time. Multiple regression and moderation analysis were used to explore the indirect influence of partners beliefs on diabetes distress at baseline and follow-up. Results: Illness perceptions and diabetes distress in pwt2d and partners did not change overtime. Partners’ beliefs about the controllability, chronicity, and predictability of symptoms of diabetes moderated the relationship between the corresponding pwt2d beliefs and diabetes distress. These indirect effects were observed across both time points. Conclusions: Conflicting illness perceptions about the controllability and chronicity of diabetes, and congruous negative perceptions about diabetes symptoms among couples sustain distress overtime. Targeting the beliefs of couples to improve communication and understanding may reduce diabetes distress.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)244-255
Number of pages12
JournalDiabetes Research and Clinical Practice
Early online date26 May 2018
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2018


  • Interpersonal relations
  • Psychological adjustment
  • Social support
  • Type 2 diabetes mellitus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology

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