Psychosocial health care needs of people with type 2 diabetes in primary care: Views of patients and health care providers

Corinne Stoop, Francois Pouwer, Victor Pop, Brenda Den Oudsten, Giesje Nefs*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review



This study examined (a) psychosocial health care needs of people with type 2 diabetes from the perspective of patients and diabetes healthcare providers in primary care, in terms of topics, attention in diabetes care and preferences and (b) factors associated with a positive attitude towards specialized psychosocial health care. 


Qualitative focus group study. 


Using purposive sampling, participants were selected from general practices. In 2012-2013, three focus groups were conducted in people with type 2 diabetes (N = 20) and three with healthcare providers (N = 18). 


Opinions differed considerably on whether there was a need for psychosocial health care. Topics focused mainly on diabetes-specific issues ranging from a need for additional diabetes education to attention and support in regular diabetes care. However, not all healthcare providers felt competent enough to address psychosocial problems. Some participants reported a need for specialized psychosocial help. A positive attitude towards specialized psychosocial health care appeared to be influenced by care setting (e.g., in the primary care practice or 'outside' mental health care), care accessibility, proactive discussion of psychosocial issues with and referral by healthcare providers and previous experiences with psychosocial health care. 


Although only few participants expressed a need for specialized psychosocial care, attention for psychosocial well-being in regular diabetes care was generally appreciated. 


People with type 2 diabetes generally felt psychosocial care could be provided as part of regular diabetes care. Suggestions for healthcare providers to meet psychosocial health care needs include training and discussion tools.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1702-1712
JournalJournal of Advanced Nursing
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2/psychology
  • Female
  • Focus Groups
  • Health Personnel/psychology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patients/psychology
  • Primary Health Care
  • Psychiatric Rehabilitation/methods
  • Qualitative Research

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