Does kidney disease risk screening increase diabetes distress – PRIORITY sub-study

Diabetes distress reflects an emotional response to diabetes and refers to worries, concerns and fears experienced by people with diabetes. It is defined by the context of diabetes and is linked to e.g. specific stressors such as worrying about complications and treatment regimen. Therefore it is likely that screening for kidney disease and the introduction of the results of screening can increase diabetes distress. However, it is also likely that specific information about kidney disease risk can reduce distress. Participants, who have been worried about complications before the study, may feel less distressed if the screening results indicate low risk of kidney disease.

The inclusion of psychosocial assessment in the PRIORITY study can provide important information on patients’ emotional response to screening for e.g. kidney disease and thereby inform clinical decision making and future recommendations for support in relation to screening procedures. In addition, it may expand the range of intervention options to address diabetes-related life stressors that can influence diabetes management.


The aim of this study is to investigate to what extent diabetes distress is affected by individualized information about future risk of kidney disease development.
This includes:

  • To explore differences in patients’ level of diabetes distress before kidney disease screening and after
  • To explore how the level of diabetes distress changes over time in patients at high risk of kidney disease attending additional consultations and treatment compared to patients at low risk of kidney disease attending regular treatment
  • To explore differences in diabetes distress changes dependent on initial level of diabetes distress (comparing patients with high vs. low diabetes distress before the screening)
  • To assess the influence of social support, diabetes empowerment and sense of coherence on the differences in diabetes distress before and after screening.


The study is conducted as a collaboration between the two research groups at Steno Diabetes Center Copenhagen, Complications Research (Peter Rossing, Morten Lindhardt and Marie Frimodt-Møller) and Health Promotion Research (Lene Eide Joensen and Ingrid Willaing).

The PRIORITY study

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