Results of a recent pilot study presented this week at the American Association of Diabetes Educators Annual Meeting & Exhibition demonstrated that mental health coaching significantly eased depression and reduced blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. A significant number of people with diabetes suffer from depression, which can interfere with their ability to participate in the self-care activities that are important to managing both the disease and its comorbidities, including chronic pain.
In the pilot, 182 patients with type 2 diabetes received mental health coaching, including an average of 3 visits in which the coach helped them find tools to best address the stressors and challenges in their lives. The mental health coach used the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ9) to measure anxiety and depression scores prior to and after intervention, and scores decreased by 49% on average after 3 months. In addition, A1C levels, a measure of the concentration of glucose in the blood, decreased from 8.8% to 7.7% on average. Read a news story about the findings here.