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The psychosocial impact of hypoglycemia on adults with type 1 diabetes mellitus


Project title

The psychosocial impact of hypoglycemia on adults with type 1 diabetes mellitus

Project manager

Hannah Chatwin

Project description

Adults with type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) experience an increased incidence of hypoglycemia, a common and burdensome side effect of intensive insulin therapy. Beyond the physical health risks and complications of hypoglycemia, adults with T1DM report negative psychosocial outcomes of hypoglycemia, including fear of hypoglycemia (FoH), diabetes distress (DD), and poorer quality of life (QoL). However, past research is limited in examining the complex interactions between hypoglycemia and these psychosocial variables. Moreover, the unmet care needs of adults with T1DM regarding hypoglycemia are largely unknown.

The purpose of this study is to determine the precise psychosocial impacts of hypoglycemia on adults with T1DM, and to investigate the unmet care needs of adults with T1DM worldwide.

This study will be conducted under the umbrella of the Hypo-RESOLVE Study and will involve: 1) a systematic review of the current literature, 2) secondary analysis of data from approximately 100 pooled clinical trials, and a multi-national survey involving both qualitative and quantitative measures

Further investigation into the impact of hypoglycemia on QoL for adults with T1DM is warranted to provide insight into the specific pathways of psychosocial burden. Past research is limited in determining the precise nature of the relationships between hypoglycemia and relevant psychosocial variables, and an exploration of the specific impact of hypoglycemia on QoL has not yet been conducted. While previous studies have attempted to disentangle the associations between hypoglycemia and various psychosocial outcomes, clinical trials and systematic reviews are marked with methodological issues, and synthesis of existing bodies of literature is required to draw knowledge bases together. Investigating the role of psychosocial variables in the relationship between hypoglycemia and poor QoL in T1DM is the general context for this study, and may draw attention to opportunities for intervention strategies to more effectively target unmet psychosocial care needs.

Start date and expected end date

01.03.2019 - 01.03.2022

Main supervisors

Professor Frans Pouwer, INSIDE Research Group, Department of Psychology, SDU;
Professor Jane Speight, Australian Centre for Behavioural Research in Diabetes (ACBRD), Melbourne, Australia and Deakin University, Geelong, Australia, and SDU;
Dr. Christel Hendrieckx, (ACBRD), Melbourne, Australia and Deakin University, Geelong, Australia;
Dr. Melanie Broadley, Department of Psychology, SDU


Dr. Pratik Choudhary, King’s College, London, UK

The project is carried out under

INSIDE Research Group, within the framework of The Hypo-RESOLVE Project, which investigates hypoglycemia and its impact in diabetes.


SDU and various Hypo-RESOLVE stakeholders


Hypo-RESOLVE and the SDU Faculty of Health Sciences, Department of Psychology


hypoglycemia, type 1 diabetes, T1DM, diabetes distress, fear of hypoglycemia, quality of life, anxiety, depression

Last Updated 19.10.2023