Reducing diabetes distress and improving self-management with mindfulness

Robin R. Whitebird, Mary Jo Kreitzer, Gabriela Vazquez-Benitez, Chris J. Enstad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Stress associated with diabetes makes managing diabetes harder. We investigated whether mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) could reduce diabetes distress and improve management. We recruited 38 participants to complete an MBSR program. Surveys and lab values were completed at baseline and post-intervention. Participants showed significant improvement in diabetes-related distress (Cohen’s d –.71, p <.002), psychosocial self-efficacy (Cohen’s d.80, p <.001), and glucose control (Cohen’s d –.79, p <.001). Significant improvements in depression, anxiety, stress, coping, self-compassion, and social support were also found. These results suggest that MBSR may offer an effective method for helping people better self-manage their diabetes and improve mental health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)48-65
Number of pages18
JournalSocial Work in Health Care
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number K23AT003919. NCT01796834,


  • Diabetes distress
  • MBSR
  • diabetes management
  • mindfulness
  • stress reduction

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