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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 21  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 56-63

Factors associated with high stress levels in adults with diabetes mellitus attending a tertiary diabetes care center, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

1 Madras Diabetes Research Foundation, Dr. Mohan's Diabetes Specialities Centre, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
2 International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, The Union South-East Asia Office, New Delhi, India
3 International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, Paris, France; London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Keppel Street, London, UK
4 Department of Community Medicine, Sri Manakula Vinayagar Medical College and Hospital, Puducherry, India

Correspondence Address:
Muthappan Sendhilkumar
Madras Diabetes Research Foundation, Dr. Mohan's Diabetes Specialities Centre, No. 6, Conran Smith Road, Gopalapuram, Chennai - 600 086, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2230-8210.196006

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Objective: We aimed to determine perceived stress levels among adults aged >20 years with type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM) in a tertiary care diabetes center, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India, assess their association with sociodemographic and clinical characteristics and assess the possible risk factors for stress and coping strategies. Methods: A mixed-methods (triangulation design) study with quantitative methodology (survey) and qualitative methodology (interviews) was carried out. Stress levels were assessed among type 2 DM patients attending a diabetes clinic using a 5-point perceived stress scale-10. One-on-one interviews were carried out with 376 participants with DM having high/very high stress levels to understand the reasons for perceived stress and explore their coping mechanisms. Results: The prevalence of high/very high stress was 35% among DM patients. Age 30–40 years, working in professional jobs, and lack of physical activity were factors significantly associated with stress. The perceived major stress inducers were related to family, work, financial issues, and the disease itself. Conclusions: This study showed high levels of stress in more than one-third of DM patients. Potential solutions include regular, formal assessment of stress levels in the clinic, providing integrated counseling and psychological care for DM patients, and promoting physical activity.

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