Skinner, T.C., Davies, M.J., Farooqi, A.M., Jarvis, J., Tringham, J.R. and Khunti, K.
Diabetes screening anxiety and beliefs
Diabetic Medicine, 22, (11), . (doi:10.1111/j.1464-5491.2005.01680.x).
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Aims: This study assesses the impact of screening for diabetes on anxiety levels in an ethnically mixed population in the UK, and explores whether beliefs about Type 2 diabetes account for these anxiety levels.
Methods: This cross-sectional study recruited individuals who were identified at high risk of developing diabetes through general practitioners' (GPs) lists or through public media recruitment. Participants completed an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT). Between blood tests, participants completed the Spielberger State Anxiety Scale Short Form, the Emotional Stability Scale of the Big Five Inventory 44 and three scales from the Diabetes Illness Representations Questionnaire, revised for this study.
Results: Of the 1339 who completed the OGTT and questionnaire booklet, 54% were female, with 21% from an Asian background. Forty-five per cent of participants reported little to moderate amounts of anxiety at screening (mean 35.2; sd = 11.6). There was no significant effect of family history of diabetes, ethnic group or recruitment method on anxiety. The only variable significantly associated (negatively) with anxiety was the personality trait of emotional stability. Of responders, 64% and 61% agreed that diabetes was caused by diet or hereditary factors, respectively. Only 155 individuals (12%) agreed that diabetes was serious, shortens life and causes complications.
Conclusions: The results of this study replicate that of previous studies, indicating that screening for diabetes does not induce significant anxiety. Bivariate analysis indicated that individuals who perceived diabetes to be serious, life shortening and resulting in complications had higher anxiety scores, the personality trait of emotional stability being the strongest predictor of anxiety.
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