Answer to: Factors associated with psychic symptoms in patients with diabetes during the COVID-19 pandemic

Marisol Santana de Lima Thaisy Zanatta Aumonde Eliane Mazzuco dos Santos Elonir Gomes About the authors

Dear Editor,

The study “Factors associated with psychic symptoms in patients with diabetes during the COVID-19 pandemic” showed that there was a higher frequency of signs and symptoms of stress, anxiety and depression in patients with Diabetes Mellitus during the COVID-191 pandemic. There was a higher prevalence of these factors in female individuals, having also shown that they are more susceptible to the above-mentioned signs and symptoms. This study concluded that these psychopathologies are associated with factors related to the period of social restriction currently experienced, highlighting the decrease in income, the practice of leisure activities and physical exercise and the history of contact with suspected COVID-19 as the main ones.11 Souza GFA, Praciano GAF, Ferreira Neto OC, Paiva MC, Jesus RPFS, Cordeiro ALN, et al. Fatores associados à sintomatologia psíquica em diabéticos durante a pandemia da COVID-19. Rev Bras Saúde Mater Infant. 2021 Feb; 21 (Suppl 1): S187-S96.

In addition, it is a fact to point out that in patients with diabetes, the prevalence of symptoms of depression and anxiety is two to four times higher, approximately, compared to the general population. In this sense, the association between diabetes and mental disorders can be exacerbated in a stressful environment, and psychological distress can considerably increase depressive symptoms and, thus, cause adverse outcomes for the patient.22 Alessi J, Oliveira GB, Franco DW, Amaral BB, Becker AS, Knijnik CP, et al. Mental health in the era of COVID-19: prevalence of psychiatric disorders in a cohort of patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes during the social distancing. Diabetol Metab Syndr. 2020 Aug; 12: 76. Therefore, the pandemic context is a major factor in the creation of this environment, corroborating the psychological symptoms of these patients.

Uniquely, the study showed that there is evidence of significant psychological distress among patients with diabetes during the COVID-19 pandemic. Still, it was found as common concerns among the individuals surveyed the excessive anxiety about being infected, the label of the risk group and the inability to control diabetes if infected.11 Souza GFA, Praciano GAF, Ferreira Neto OC, Paiva MC, Jesus RPFS, Cordeiro ALN, et al. Fatores associados à sintomatologia psíquica em diabéticos durante a pandemia da COVID-19. Rev Bras Saúde Mater Infant. 2021 Feb; 21 (Suppl 1): S187-S96. However, it is necessary to consider that in this study the data on mental health that were not evaluated before the period of social distancing for comparison with this same population. Furthermore, the absence of a control group without diabetes is also a limitation of the study.

Overall, the results of the study in question serve as an alarm for the impact that the pandemic scenario has on the mental health of patients with diabetes and emphasizes the need for visibility on the psychological manifestations in diabetic patients. Thus, considering that the prevalence of depressive symptoms in people with diabetes is higher than in the general population.33 Jeong M. Factors associated with depressive symptoms in Korean adults with diabetes mellitus: a cross-sectional study. Healthcare (Basel). 2021 Aug; 9 (8): 1049. Hence, the importance of regular tracking of symptoms in this group to prevent the onset of these symptoms is reflected. Considering this, further studies can also examine the development and effectiveness of psychosocial intervention strategies, since taking care of mental health in patients with diabetes would add to reduce depressive and anxiety symptoms.

Therefore, it is evident that the pandemic context is a stressful factor that contributed to a higher frequency of psychic signs and symptoms in individuals with diabetes. Accordingly, this study is an instrument capable of bringing significant changes in the prevention and screening of psychological signs and symptoms in diabetics.

References

  • 1
    Souza GFA, Praciano GAF, Ferreira Neto OC, Paiva MC, Jesus RPFS, Cordeiro ALN, et al. Fatores associados à sintomatologia psíquica em diabéticos durante a pandemia da COVID-19. Rev Bras Saúde Mater Infant. 2021 Feb; 21 (Suppl 1): S187-S96.
  • 2
    Alessi J, Oliveira GB, Franco DW, Amaral BB, Becker AS, Knijnik CP, et al. Mental health in the era of COVID-19: prevalence of psychiatric disorders in a cohort of patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes during the social distancing. Diabetol Metab Syndr. 2020 Aug; 12: 76.
  • 3
    Jeong M. Factors associated with depressive symptoms in Korean adults with diabetes mellitus: a cross-sectional study. Healthcare (Basel). 2021 Aug; 9 (8): 1049.

Publication Dates

  • Publication in this collection
    09 May 2022
  • Date of issue
    Jan-Mar 2022

History

  • Received
    03 Nov 2021
  • Accepted
    29 Nov 2021
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