Individuals and families affected by diabetes must navigate a complex mix of medical, behavioral and social changes in which psychology plays an integral role, according to the flagship journal of the American Psychological Association.
In a special issue of American Psychologist® entitled "Diabetes and Psychology," researchers review the current and potential contributions of psychological science to the well-being of people with or at risk of developing diabetes, including the role of family and social connections, changing technology, behavioral intervention programs and identification and treatment of mental disorders associated with diabetes itself.
"Diabetes is a common, chronic and costly condition that currently affects millions of people in the United States and worldwide, with even greater numbers at high risk for developing the disease," said Christine Hunter, PhD, of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health. "Behavioral, psychological and social factors play an important role in the delay or prevention of type 2 diabetes as well as the self-management and coping skills required to prevent or delay complications in both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Psychologists and psychological research have an important role to play in improving the prevention and care of diabetes."
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