Depression affects nearly 20% of diabetic patients all around the world and scientists are trying to examine the possible treatment by research.
The disease being twice as common in people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes than in the general population, adversely affects quality of life and treatment outcomes. The causes of depression in diabetes are poorly understood, but research suggests a bi-directional association, at least for type 2 diabetes.
According to experts, the assessment of diabetes-distress and depression in research and clinical practice would be essential to identify high-risk patients with different mental health needs.
Despite research efforts over the past 20 years, scientific evidence about screening and treatment for depression in diabetes remains incomplete.
Validated instruments to detect depression in diabetes, although widely available, only become effective and thus recommended if subsequent treatment pathways are accessible, which is often not the case.
Scientific evidence evaluating treatment for depression in type 1 and type 2 diabetes shows that the disease can be treated with moderate success by various psychological and pharmacological interventions, which are often implemented through collaborative care and stepped-care approaches.
More research is needed to evaluate treatment of different depression subtypes in people with diabetes, the cost-effectiveness of treatments, the use of health-care resources, the need to account for cultural differences and different health-care systems, and new treatment and prevention approaches.