Self-management support tool strengthens mental health in adults living with type 1 diabetes

International researchers -from the Netherlands, Germany, United Kingdom, and Spain- work together to develop an app that improves physical and emotional well-being in patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1D). The result will be the app 'MyDiaMate', a self-management support tool to strengthen mental health in adults living with this disease, seeking to improve their quality of life.

The University of Malaga is in charge of leading this project in Spain. Particularly, Professor María Teresa Anarte of the Department of Personality, Assessment and Psychological Treatment will coordinate the research, in collaboration with researchers at the Regional University Hospital of Malaga (HRU) and IBIMA-Plataforma BIONAND.

"This disease requires a different lifestyle for those who suffer from it, with changes in their routines that force them to be always alert", explains the Professor at the UMA Faculty of Psychology and Logopedics, which uses the word "distress" to refer to the fatigue and anxiety that diabetes self-care causes in patients.

People with diabetes are twice as likely to suffer from depression. This makes psychological support essential for these patients."

Professor María Teresa Anarte

Determine effectiveness

The final goal of this project, which will be conducted over the next 4 years, is to determine the effectiveness of 'MyDiaMate' over time. For this purpose, they have received an economic boost of 1 million euros from the JDRF, the main organization in the world that funds research on this type of diabetes.

Another purpose of this research is to verify the changes in emotional well-being, the fatigue and the self-care activities of diabetes, as well as the glycemic control and use of health services by participants, against usual care.

Lastly, they will try to establish a user profile, in order to know who would benefit most from the app.

Scientific team

This international project is led by PhD Frank Snoek at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. In Malaga, coordinated by the Professor at the UMA María Teresa Anarte, the team includes: Gabriel Olveira, Head of Endocrinology and Nutrition Service, and María Soledad Ruiz de Adana, coordinator of the Diabetes Unit of the Endocrinology and Nutrition Service, both from the HRU of Malaga, as well as Mónica Carreira and Esperanza Varela, researchers at the University of Malaga.

The entire scientific team is part of the "Endocrinology and Nutrition, Diabetes and Obesity" research group of IBIMA-Plataforma BIONAND.

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