Date of Award

Spring 2015

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)




John Chovan, PhD, DNP, RN, CNP, CNS

First Committee Member

Alicia Ribar, PhD, RN, CNP

Second Committee Member

Frank Schwartz, MD


Diabetes, Diabetes distress, Nursing, Endocrine, Transformation

Subject Categories

Endocrine System Diseases | Medicine and Health Sciences | Nursing


Diabetes mellitus affects millions of people in the United States, placing them at risk for other disease related complications. This makes the management of diabetes and the prevention of complications an important challenge. The psychological aspect of diabetes care may present a barrier to patients that inhibit them from achieving optimal self-care.

Diabetes distress (DD) is the psychological aspect of diabetes that is specific to the emotional distress caused from living a chronic disease. DD has been linked to poorer self-management behaviors which makes it a significant problem that should be taken into consideration for effective management of the diabetic patient.

Many providers are unaware of the significance of DD or screening tools that are available to help them target problem areas that are creating distress for the patient. The Diabetes Distress Survey is a simple screening tool that can be used within a clinic setting to quickly identify problem areas that will help a provider to identify issues where they can help ease patient distress and thereby improve patient compliance and glycemic control.

An education program was formatted based upon the results of a knowledge assessment of diabetes distress and attitude towards diabetes and diabetes care in a small endocrine and diabetes center. Upon completion of the program, staff had an increased awareness of diabetes distress, but no changes in attitudes were identified by test results. Anecdotally, staff did make comments that showed a change in attitude towards diabetes distress and diabetes care.



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