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Aim To investigate the role of self-compassion in diabetes outcomes. Self-compassion is a construct which may be relevant to chronic conditions, given its focus on compassion toward oneself, especially in times of difficulty. Methods In this cross-sectional study we collected data online from 310 adults diagnosed with diabetes. The questionnaire measured three primary outcomes: self-management behaviours; HbA1c levels and psychological wellbeing. Potential predictors were also assessed, including self-compassion, locus of control, social support and demographics. Results Multiple regression analyses showed that self-compassion had the most consistent association with better outcomes, including all forms of self-management behaviour, HbA1c levels and psychological well-being. Selfcompassion was independently associated with 55.1% of the variance in well-being. Internal locus of control was also significantly associated with better well-being and HbA1c outcomes. Chance and external locus of control and social support were generally associated with poorer outcomes. Conclusions Higher levels of self-compassion are typically associated with improved self-management behaviour, medical outcomes and psychological well-being in adults with diabetes mellitus. The present findings suggest that selfcompassion may be a parsimonious and suitable intervention target. Future interventions and consultations with medical professionals may benefit from fostering self-compassion in adults with diabetes mellitus.


School of Psychology

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Journal Article

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