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21 August 2017

News from Europe

Reducing chronic fatigue in people with type 1 diabetes

iStock 000001401726SmallRecent research shows that chronic fatigue is a common problem in people with type 1 diabetes. About 40% percent of people living with type 1 diabetes say they experience chronic fatigue, defined as severe fatigue lasting for at least six months. Chronic fatigue poses a serious problem as chronically fatigued people with type 1 diabetes are more exposed to complications. In turn, people with diabetes who have complications including cardiovascular disease and nephropathy are also at higher risk of developing chronic fatigue.

To break the vicious circle and improve the quality of life of people with type 1 diabetes, Diabetes Fonds, the Dutch diabetes research foundation, is leading Dia-Fit, a web-based cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) to address the factors of chronic fatigue.

Researchers from the Radboud University Medical Center in Nijmegen, the Netherlands, found evidence that fatigue is perpetuated by behaviors such as disrupted sleep-wake pattern, low level of activity, catastrophising thoughts about fatigue or high levels of diabetes-related distress.

Dia-Fit aims at addressing these factors by enrolling patients in a 5-month web-based cognitive behaviour therapy. The therapy is made up of 5 to 8 modules, as well as several face-to-face sessions with a therapist, allowing the programme to offer a tailored approach for each patient. The efficacy of Dia-Fit will be tested in a randomized controlled trial.

Currently, a group of 65 patients is taking part in the study, which will aim to recruit a total of 120 participants. The clinical trial will determine if Dia-Fit leads to a reduction of fatigue and disabilities. The intervention could also facilitate better diabetes management reflected in a reduction in HbA1c and blood glucose variability. First results are expected for August 2016.

For more information, click here.