The Prevalence and Correlates of Mental and Emotional Health Among American Indian Adults With Type 2 Diabetes

Melissa L. Walls, University of Minnesota - Duluth
Benjamin D. Aronson, Ohio Northern University
Garrett V. Soper, University of Minnesota - Duluth
Michelle D. Johnson-Jennings, University of Minnesota - Duluth

This article was created while Prof. Benjamin Aronson was part of University of Minnesota's College of Pharmacy in Duluth, MN. The article was published in The Diabetes Educator in 2014.


The purpose of this study was to examine the prevalence and correlates of mental and emotional health factors among a sample of American Indian (Indigenous) adults diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

Data are from a community-based participatory research project involving two Indigenous reservation communities. Data were collected from 218 Indigenous adults diagnosed with type 2 diabetes via in-person paper-and-pencil survey interviews.

Reports of greater numbers of mental/emotional health problems were associated with increases in self-reported hyperglycemia, comorbid health problems, and health-impaired physical activities.

This study addresses a gap in the literature by demonstrating the associations between various mental/emotional health factors and diabetes-related health problems for Indigenous Americans. Findings underscore the importance of holistic, integrated primary care models for more effective diabetes care.