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Couples Intervention May Aid Partners of Diabetes Patients

Benefits include less disease-related distress, higher marital satisfaction

happy couple

MONDAY, Jan. 14, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Couples interventions have beneficial effects for partners of individuals with type 2 diabetes, according to a study recently published in Diabetic Medicine.

Paula M. Trief, Ph.D., from SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, New York, and colleagues randomly assigned couples in which one partner had type 2 diabetes with hemoglobin A1c ≥58 mmol/mol (7.5 percent) to couples calls (CC; 10 behavior change calls focusing on partner communication, collaboration, and support), individual calls (IC; 10 behavior change calls), or diabetes education calls (DE). All participants received two calls for self-management education.

The researchers found that compared with IC and DE, CC partners had greater reductions in diabetes distress, greater increases in marital satisfaction (at four and eight months), and some improvements in diastolic blood pressure. No other psychosocial, medical, or behavioral outcomes were found to significantly differ between the groups. Further, there was no evidence of a dietary or activity behavior ripple effect on untreated partners.

"We found that involved partners benefited emotionally, and also felt better about their relationship, as they worked together to deal with the challenges of diabetes," Trief said in a statement.

Two authors disclosed financial ties to pharmaceutical and medical device companies.

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