Skip to main content

The Psychosocial Impact of Hypoglycaemia in Adults with Type 2 Diabetes


Project title

The Psychosocial Impact of Hypoglycaemia in Adults with Type 2 Diabetes

Project manager

Kevin Alan Matlock

Project description

The global prevalence of diabetes is predicted to increase by 50% over the next two decades, and more than 9 out of 10 of these individuals are expected to have type 2 diabetes. Blood glucose levels can typically be managed in the short-term using lifestyle changes and oral medications, but in the long-term many people with type 2 diabetes require insulin therapy to regulate their blood glucose. While insulin is effective at preventing future complications of diabetes, it also increases the risk for hypoglycaemic episodes in which blood glucose falls below healthy levels. Nearly half of those with insulin-treated type 2 diabetes report having experienced hypoglycaemia, and recurrent episodes have been linked to negative health outcomes, including seizures, cardiac arrhythmias, and in rare instances even death. Less is known, however, about the ways in which hypoglycaemia impacts the psychological and social dimensions of health. Given the increasing prevalence of type 2 diabetes, establishing a clear understanding of how hypoglycaemia impacts all aspects of quality of life is vital for safeguarding global public health.

The primary aim of this PhD project is to determine and quantify the psychosocial impacts of hypoglycaemia (low blood glucose level) in adults with type 2 diabetes. Specifically, this project will explore impacts across three domains:

  1. Measures of daily functioning, such as sleep quality, energy levels, and concentration;
  2. Measures of mood, such as irritability, diabetes distress, fear of hypoglycaemia, anxiety, and depression; and
  3. Measures of social, academic, and occupational functioning, including performance and absenteeism. A secondary aim is to investigate how the psychosocial impacts of hypoglycaemia interact with mood disorder symptomology to affect quality of life.

The present PhD project will examine the psychological impact of hypoglycaemia in adults with type 2 diabetes using data extracted from several sources, including:

  1. A systematic review of peer-reviewed literature;
  2. Combined clinical trial data gathered from industry partners; and
  3. Participant responses collected using international qualitative and quantitative surveys.

Start date and expected end date

01.03.2019 - 01.03.2022

Main supervisor

Professor Frans Pouwer, Department of Psychology, SDU


Professor Jane Speight, Australian Center for Behavioral Research in Diabetes and School of Psychology, Deakin University, Australia and Department of Psychology, SDU;
Dr. Christel Hendrieckx, Australian Centre for Behavioural Research in Diabetes and Deakin University, Australia;
Dr. Melanie Broadley, Department of Psychology, SDU

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.


This project is part of the Hypo-RESOLVE consortium, which includes 23 partners from 9 European countries and the US.


This project is funded by the European Union’s Innovative Medicine Initiative (IMI2) and is conducted as part of the HypoResolve Study, an international research effort comprised of 23 partners from 9 European countries and the US aimed at better understanding hypoglycaemia and its effects on quality of life.


Anxiety, depression, diabetes distress, DM2, fear of hypoglycaemia, hypoglycaemia, QoL, quality of life, type 2 diabetes, well-being

Last Updated 19.10.2023