This chapter explores the efficacy of psychotherapeutic interventions for patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). This condition can lead to serious adverse health outcomes (e.g., cardiovascular disease, blindness, loss of limbs, etc.). Medical interventions alone are often not sufficient to manage the disease. Psychotherapy can promote behavioral change that improves medication adherence, dietary choices, exercise, stress, and other variables that affect blood sugar levels. The current chapter summarizes the trends in recent research for psychotherapeutic interventions for the management of T2DM. The results from 16 randomized controlled trials on cognitive-behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing, counseling, and mindfulness-based therapies are discussed. These interventions varied in length (3 to 18 months) and were conducted in many geographic regions (e.g., Australia, Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, and more). Changes in biological health outcomes (i.e., HbA1c levels) were the primary focus of this chapter, but diabetes-related behavioral changes (e.g., diet and exercise) and psychological variables (e.g., stress, depression, and well-being) are also discussed. This chapter highlights that recent research has provided the most support for mindfulness-based therapies for improving blood sugar levels in patients with T2DM.
Part of the book: Psychology and Pathophysiological Outcomes of Eating