The intersection of physician wellbeing and clinical application of diabetes guidelines

Dean A. Seehusen, Justin Deavers, Arch G. Mainous, Christy J.W. Ledford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Objectives: Prediabetes (preDM) and diabetes are complex conditions that place significant strain on medical providers. This can have a negative impact on providers’ wellbeing and could impact clinical decisions. We investigated the interplay of caring for patients with prediabetes, physician mental wellbeing, and clinical care. Methods: Using the theory of planned behavior, we conducted a secondary analysis to evaluate physicians’ self-reported provision of care to patients with preDM. We evaluated the effect of mental wellbeing and perceived barriers to caring for patients with preDM. Results: Among 1015 academic physicians, a greater perception of barriers to care and a higher percentage of patients seen with preDM were both significantly associated with a less positive physician state of mind. Physician state of mind was not associated with self-reported clinical behavior. Physician perception of patient barriers has a positive correlation with their likelihood of prescribing metformin for preDM. Conclusions: Caring for a larger proportion of patients with preDM is associated with worse mental wellbeing. Physician attitudes and subjective norms may predict adherence to guidelines, while physician attitudes and wellbeing affect self-reported prescribing behavior. Practice implications: Future research should evaluate ways to lessen the psychological burden of caring for patients with diabetes and preDM.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)894-899
Number of pages6
JournalPatient Education and Counseling
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Barriers
  • Burnout
  • Clinical guidelines
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Mental wellbeing
  • Prediabetes
  • Theory of planned behavior

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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