Physician and nurse use of psychosocial strategies in diabetes care: Results of the cross-national Diabetes Attitudes, Wishes and Needs (DAWN) study

Mark Peyrot, Richard R. Rubin, Linda M. Siminerio

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE - To determine the use of psychosocial strategies by health care providers in treating patients with diabetes and the factors associated with use of these strategies. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS - Cross-sectional survey of national samples of generalist and diabetes specialist physicians (n = 2,705) and nurses (n = 1,122) from the multinational study of Diabetes Attitudes, Wishes and Needs. Respondents were from 13 countries in Asia, Australia, Europe, and North America. Two psychosocial strategies were examined: provider psychosocial care, which provides psychosocial support by diabetes care providers to their own patients, and psychosocial specialist care, which refers diabetic patients to psychosocial specialists. RESULTS - Compared with physicians, nurses perceived significantly higher prevalence and severity of psychosocial problems and used psychosocial strategies significantly more frequently, even though they rated their own psychosocial skills lower. Among both physicians and nurses, diabetes specialists were significantly more likely than generalists to utilize psychosocial strategies. Physicians and nurses used psychosocial strategies significantly more when they believed that more patients have psychosocial problems and that problems interfere more with diabetes control. Referral to psychosocial specialists was significantly more likely when physicians and nurses perceived that professional psychological resources were more available. There were substantial country differences in all factors studied. Compared with other countries, U.S. providers provided more psychosocial care themselves but were less likely to refer to psychosocial specialists. CONCLUSIONS - Psychosocial strategies are important parts of the diabetes care provider repertoire; understanding their determinants may facilitate efforts to increase their use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1256-1262
Number of pages7
JournalDiabetes care
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing


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