M.S. (Master of Science)
School of Health Studies
Objective: The objective and purpose of this research was to determine if individuals with type 1 and type 2 diabetes are at risk for developing eating disorders. Currently, there is a gap in literature on the topic of eating disorders and diabetes. Further, there is little research on those with type 2 diabetes and their risk for eating disorder development. Management of diabetes and eating disorder treatment contradict each other. Therefore, there is a need to understand the risk involved in the treatment of diabetes in order to prevent eating disorder development.
Methods: The current study used a Likert-type scale called the Diabetes Eating Problem Survey-Revised (DEPS-R) to determine the risk for developing an eating disorder in patients with diabetes. The survey is a Likert-type questionnaire with 16 items. For each of the items, subjects can respond with never, rarely, sometimes, often, usually, or always. The responses are scored and evaluated based on total scores that exceed 20. Participants who score 20 or greater on the DEPS-R are considered to be at risk for developing eating disorders.
Results: Data analyses determined that both individuals with type 1 and type 2 diabetes are at risk for developing eating disorders. The study population of this research included individuals ages 5 and greater with diagnosed type 1 or type 2 diabetes. The mean age of participants was 35.5 years. Subjects were not required to have an eating disorder, although a few of the participants had been previously diagnosed with one. Questionnaires were completed by a total of 409 participants. There were 333 females and 72 males who completed the survey. Of the 409 participants, 325 had type 1 diabetes and 84 had type 2 diabetes.
To determine the prevalence of those diagnosed with diabetes who are at risk for eating disorders, percentages and 95% confidence intervals were computed. 56.2% of the total participants scored 20 or greater on the DEPS-R, indicating that they are at risk for eating disorders. A test of proportions and crosstabulations were computed and analyzed to determine if those with type 1 and type 2 diabetes were at an equal risk for developing eating disorders in this sample. The p-value of 0.953 for the chi-square test of independence indicated that individuals with type 1 and type 2 diabetes are at an equal risk for developing eating disorders. Of the 16 items, persons with type 1 and type 2 diabetes responded significantly different on 4 of the questions: 1, 4, 11, and 12.
Conclusion: The main objective of this study was to determine if individuals with diabetes were at risk for developing eating disorders. Using the DEPS-R, the researcher was able to assess eating disorder risk regarding eating behaviors, food and body image thoughts, and perception of diabetes care. The study found that as a whole, individuals with type 1 and type 2 diabetes are at risk for developing eating disorders. More than half of the participants scored greater than 20 on the DEPS-R, which indicates that they are at risk. In addition, those with type 1 and type 2 diabetes were at an equal risk for eating disorders from this sample. Finally, those with type 1 and type 2 diabetes scored significantly different on only 4 items of the DEPS-R.
Havlik, Nicole, "The Risk For Developing Eating Disorders Among indivdiuals with Diabetes" (2019). Graduate Research Theses & Dissertations. 7099.
Northern Illinois University
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