A biopsychosocial treatment approach to the management of diabetes mellitus

Lee S. Schwartz, Lewis Russell Coulson, David Toovy, John S. Lyons, Joseph A. Flaherty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


The relationship among recent life stress, social support, a patient's locus of control, and the control of blood glucose is evaluated in persons with diabetes mellitus, using objective measures of these psychosocial variables. Short-term [fasting blood sugar (FBS)] and long-term [glycosylated hemoglobin (Hgb A-1C)] control measures are taken at two points in time in order to evaluate the effects of the psychosocial variables on change in diabetes control. For life events, a significant positive association was found between the number of recent life events and blood glucose control. Decrease in social support predicted a worsening of longer-term (Hgb A-1C) control over time. An external locus of control within the patient was associated both with poor short-term control at time one and prediction of poorer long-term control over time. The implications of these findings are discussed in support of a biopsychosocial approach to the management of diabetes mellitus.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-26
Number of pages8
JournalGeneral Hospital Psychiatry
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1991

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
pilation and analysis. Dr. Schwartz’s work was supported by the Medical Research Service of the United States Department of Veterans Affairs.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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