Aims and objectives. This paper reported a systematic review of three randomised controlled clinical trials evaluating the efficacy of non-pharmacological treatment of depression on glycaemic control in individuals with type 2 diabetes. Background. Depression is associated with poor adherence to self-care regimen in individuals with diabetes. A significant relationship between depression and poor glycaemic control has also been suggested. Hence, the management of depression becomes an important aspect of diabetes care. Design. Systematic review. Methods. Cochrane library, Pubmed, MEDLINE, EBM review, ProQuest Medical Bundle and SCOPUS databases were searched using the following medical subject headings or key words - depression, mood disorder, depressive symptoms, diabetes mellitus, glycaemic control, glycated haemoglobin, glucose, psychological therapy, psychotherapy, non-pharmacological therapy and cognitive behaviour therapy. The publication date was limited from 1996-2007. Studies were selected if they used a randomised controlled trial design, were written in English, used non-pharmacological treatments for treating depression, included individuals with type 2 diabetes mellitus as participants and included depressive symptoms and glycaemic control (determined by haemoglobin A 1C) as outcomes. Results. Non-pharmacological treatments of depression reduce depressive symptoms in diabetic patients. However, cognitive behaviour therapy did not improve glycaemic control. The treatment effect sizes for glycaemic control in the two collaborative-care programmes were also small. Conclusions. The available evidence indicated that non-pharmacological treatment of depression had limited effect on glycaemic control in individuals with type 2 diabetes. Relevance to clinical practice. The depression-focused interventions might not achieve optimal diabetes-related outcomes. The beneficial effect of psychological treatment for glycaemic control may be strengthened by employing treatments tailored to each individual's diabetes self-care needs in addition to depression management.
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