Alexithymia and Psychological Distress Affect Perceived Quality of Life in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus

Gabriella Martino, Federica Bellone, Viviana Langher, Andrea Caputo, Antonino Catalano, Maria Catena Quattropani, Nunziata Morabito


Backgrounds: Psychological factors may affect patients’ ability to cope with chronic illness, which occur with a high incidence as they represent age related disorder. Anxiety, depression and alexithymia could specifically interfere with compliance and adherence leading to predictable consequences and predicting morbidity and mortality independently of several confounders.  The present work aims at investigating the relationship between alexithymia and affective dimension such as anxiety and depression levels, and health related quality of life in T2DM patients. Particularly, alexithymia was analyzed in its three main facets and time since diagnosis was considered with also metabolic control.

Methods: Forty seven patients with T2DM were consecutively enrolled and assessed with a gold standard interview and with a psycho-diagnostic evaluation. Clinical psychological exploration consisted of HAM-A, BECK-II, SF-36 and TAS-20 administration. Statistical analysis was performed using IBM SPSS statistical version 25. Data were analyzed anonymously.

Results: 47 participants showed moderate depressive symptoms as confirmed by the mean BDI-II and HAMA-A score (15.14 ± 8.95 and 24.31 ± 6.95, respectively), suggesting a high prevalence of anxiety in the enrolled subjects. It was observed a lower perceived QoL as resulted by the MCS and PCS mean values (37.68 ± 9.41 and 39.31 ± 12.29, respectively) and TAS-20 highlighted considerable mean values of 60.53 ± 7.93 in the recruited participants with a prevalence in EOT values (27.51± 4.27), in comparison with mean DID and DDF values (17.26 ± 5.52 and 15.48 ± 3.84, respectively).

Conclusions: Our study may suggest a predictive role of alexithymia in patients with T2DM. Moreover, lower PCS and MCS, revealing worst perceived QoL were associated to both higher anxiety and disease duration. 


Alexithymia; Anxiety; Depression; Quality of life; PCS; MCS; T2DM.

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