A randomized controlled trial of cognitive behavioral therapy for adherence and depression (cbtad) in patientswith uncontrolled type 2 diabetes

Steven A. Safren, Jeffrey S. Gonzalez, Deborah J. Wexler, Christina Psaros, Linda M. Delahanty, Aaron J. Blashill, Aleksandra I. Margolina, Enrico Cagliero

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

130 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE To test cognitive behavioral therapy for adherence and depression (CBT-AD) in type 2 diabetes. We hypothesized that CBT-AD would improve adherence; depression; and, secondarily, hemoglobin A1c (A1C). RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS Eighty-seven adults with unipolar depression and uncontrolled type 2 diabetes received enhanced treatment as usual (ETAU), including medication adherence, self-monitoring of blood glucose (SMBG), and lifestyle counseling; a provider letter documented psychiatric diagnoses. Those randomized to the intervention arm also received 9-11 sessions of CBT-AD. RESULTS Immediately after acute treatment (4months), adjusting for baseline, CBT-AD had 20.7 percentage points greater oral medication adherence on electronic pill cap (95% CI 231.14 to 210.22, P = 0.000); 30.2 percentage points greater SMBG adherence through glucometer downloads (95% CI 242.95 to 217.37, P = 0.000); 6.44 points lower depression scores on the Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale (95% CI 2.33-10.56, P = 0.002); 0.74 points lower on the Clinical Global Impression (95% CI 0.16-1.32, P = 0.01); and 0.72 units lower A1C (95% CI 0.29- 1.15, P = 0.001) relative to ETAU. Analyses of 4-, 8-, and 12-month follow-up time points indicated that CBT-AD maintained 24.3 percentage points higher medication adherence (95% CI238.2 to210.3, P = 0.001); 16.9 percentage points greater SMBG adherence (95% CI233.3 to20.5, P = 0.043); and 0.63 units lower A1C (95% CI 0.06-1.2, P = 0.03) after acute treatment ended. For depression, there was some evidence of continued improvement posttreatment, but no between-group differences. CONCLUSIONS CBT-AD is an effective intervention for adherence, depression, and glycemic control, with enduring and clinically meaningful benefits for diabetes selfmanagement and glycemic control in adults with type 2 diabetes and depression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)625-633
Number of pages9
JournalDiabetes care
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2014
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing


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