Psychosocial stress among patients with type 2 diabetes: habitual physical activity as a promising moderator
Psychosocial stress is a disabling condition and is common among people with diabetes mellitus in view of the complexity of the disorder. It is however not clear if the psychosocial stress has any link with habitual physical activity, which is an important component in the care of people with diabetes. This study was conducted to investigate the likely connection between habitual physical activity and psychosocial stress among people with type 2 diabetes. A total of 193 adults with type 2 diabetes took part in this study. Psychosocial stress was assessed using the Revised Questionnaire on Stress in patients with Diabetes (QSD-R) while physical activity was assessed using the Baecke Habitual Physical Activity Questionnaire. Data were analysed using descriptive and inferential statistics at p < .05. The mean age of the participants was 58.76 ± 14.27 years with mean duration of diagnosis being 6.41 ± 4. 51 years. With a mean score of 2.8, work activity was the main source of physical activity for the patients with the least activity index of 1.2 coming from sports participation. Hypoglycaemia and self-medication/diet were the most important sources of stress to the patients and the overall psychosocial stress was related to habitual physical activity (r = - .73, p = .002). Significantly, patients with higher physical activity index presented with lower psychosocial stress. Apart from the well-known improvement in glycaemic control, type 2 diabetes patients that participate more in physical activity may be able to reduce their psychosocial stress.
Keywords: Type 2 diabetes, psychosocial stress, habitual physical activity