Introduction: Diabetes distress (DD) is a serious problem in many people with diabetes and is associated with unfavorable clinical and psychosocial outcomes in children and adults. Little is known about DD in young adults (YAs) with type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) who transferred to adult care. This study aimed to explore the differences between YAs with/without DD regarding transfer experiences, self-management and health-related quality of life (HRQoL).
Research design and methods: Cross-sectional online questionnaire completed by YAs with T1DM after transfer. DD was measured with the short form Problem Areas in Diabetes scale. Descriptive analyses were followed by t-tests and χ2 tests to explore differences between the groups with/without DD. Effect sizes were calculated.
Results: Of 164 respondents with mean age 22.7 (±1.56) years, 60.7% was female. The total sample scored low on DD (6.52±4.67; range: 0–17), but 57 (34.8%) had a score ≥8, indicating DD. YAs with DD felt less ready to transfer to adult care than those without DD and scored lower on alliance between pediatric and adult care and reception in adult care. They also reported poorer selfmanagement skills and lower HRQoL in all domains of functioning.
Conclusions: More than one-third YAs experienced DD after transfer; this was associated with less favorable transition, self-management and psychosocial outcomes. Transfer in care seems to be a source of DD. Systematic screening on DD and attention for YAs’ worries is recommended in both pediatric and adult care.