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The Importance of Integrated Behavioral Health in Managing Diabetes and Depression

By Dr. Michelle Ned, Doctor of Behavioral Health | September 22, 2023 | 11:27 AM ET

Diabetes education and motivational interviewing interventions are well-known therapies for Diabetes Mellitus (DM) and co-morbid depression. There is current evidence of these therapies being incorporated in healthcare. DM is a chronic health condition that decreases the body’s ability to utilize glucose properly; Furthermore, it has one of the highest mortality rates within the United States. Several individuals are living with the chronic illness, resulting in increased physical and mental health conditions and inflated healthcare costs. Addressing diabetes is critical to the reduction of further health disparities, premature death rates and exceeding medical expenses. Diabetes has been linked to numerous physical and psychological complications. Properly managing DM can be taxing for patients immediately following diagnosis.

Patients with diabetes and co-morbid depression may lack motivation for diabetes care, resulting in decreased energy, uncontrollable blood sugar levels, increased stress, increased mortality rates and a surge in healthcare costs. Managing diabetes requires proper attention on a continuous basis. Integrated health professionals have sought interventions to support patients with acknowledging the significance of diabetes self-management on improving patient quality of life.

The use of Motivational Interviewing (MI) in diabetes self-management has contributed to improved health outcomes such as lower body mass index, increased exercise and decreased depression symptoms. MI is an interdisciplinary approach to treatment that focuses on empowering motivation for a lifestyle change (Psychology Today, 2023). This behavioral health intervention continues to be successful in assisting diabetic patients with the reduction of symptoms associated with improving patient motivation toward diabetes self-care.

Reference Psychology Today. (2023). Motivational interviewing.


Dr. Michelle Ned

Dr. Michelle Ned is a content writer for iHealth News and an Integrated Behavioral Health Professional and owner of Visions Consulting Firm.

She has 14 years of experience working in various capacities to provide mental health advocacy and consulting, content writing, higher education instruction, technology and project development, mentorship, and leadership.

As a former higher education professor, Dr. Ned has experience providing instruction in various subjects, including social sciences and humanities. Dr. Ned lives in Lake Charles, Louisiana.

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