Diabetes and COVID-19: psychosocial consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic in people with diabetes in Denmark—what characterizes people with high levels of COVID-19-related worries?

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  • L. E. Joensen
  • K. P. Madsen
  • L. Holm
  • K. A. Nielsen
  • M. H. Rod
  • A. A. Petersen
  • Rod, Naja Hulvej
  • I. Willaing

Aim: To map COVID-19-specific worries and overall psychosocial health among people with diabetes in the initial phase of the COVID-19 pandemic in Denmark, and to explore characteristics of people with diabetes and high levels of worries related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted by distributing online questionnaires to 2430 adult members (> 18 years) of two user panels consisting of people with diabetes who have volunteered to share information about their life with diabetes. The questionnaire included items on COVID-19-specific worries as well as such worries related to diabetes, sociodemographic and health status, social relations, diabetes-specific social support, diabetes distress and changes in diabetes-specific behaviours. Responses were analysed with descriptive statistics and logistic regressions. Results: People with diabetes have COVID-19-specific worries related to their diabetes. More than half were worried about being overly affected due to diabetes if infected with COVID-19, about one-third about being characterized as a risk group due to diabetes and not being able to manage diabetes if infected. Logistic regressions showed that being female, having type 1 diabetes, diabetes complications and diabetes distress, feeling isolated and lonely, and having changed diabetes behaviours were associated with being more worried about COVID-19 and diabetes. Conclusion: People with diabetes have COVID-19-specific worries related to their diabetes which is associated with poorer psychosocial health. These worries should be addressed through support targeting specific questions and needs of individuals with diabetes as well as frequent updates on new knowledge regarding COVID-19 and diabetes.

Original languageEnglish
JournalDiabetic Medicine
Issue number7
Pages (from-to)1146-1154
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2020

ID: 242707984