Screening people with type 2 diabetes on a yearly basis for depression could improve their health, according to a review of several studies.
Depression is the most common mental health issue within the diabetes community. If left untreated it can seriously impact a person’s well-being and their motivation to self-manage their diabetes.
The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) states that people with a chronic illness, such as diabetes, are three times more likely to have depression.
In this review, researchers looked at whether there was a link between depression and glycemic control and found a statistically significant association in seven out of 10 studies.
Three of the studies also suggested patients who recognised the symptoms of depression, and went on to receive appropriate follow-up treatment, experienced improved HbA1c levels.
The researchers, Kristel McGhee and Katherine Kenny from the Mayo Clinic Scottsdale and Arizona State University, suggest introducing a protocol which would collect health data on people with type 2 diabetes in a bid to prevent them from developing depression.
This would include age, sex, other illnesses and whether they have a history of depression. By using patient questionnaires it would help doctors to review people’s health and their HbA1c levels. It is thought this would help combat complications associated with diabetes which reduce wellbeing and are costly to the NHS and the person.
The researchers said: “Patients with major depressive disorder have a mean life span of 25 to 30 years less than the average person. The purpose of this project is not only to identify and treat patients with diabetes, but also implement a sustainable process to screen these patients … for depression.”
The findings were presented at the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) 2017 National Conference.