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Positive psychology & Wellbeing

Positive psychology includes positive emotions, engagement and flow states, positive relationships..

Positive psychology includes positive emotions, engagement and flow states, positive relationships, social connection, meaning, purpose and achievements.

Principles are based on Martin Seligman’s work on summarising the core aspects of positive psychology (Seligman, 2002) and understanding the impacts of these specific factors on Hba1c and well-being outcomes. Positive psychology is associated with improved well-being outcomes.

Emotional regulation and emotional intelligence has associations with Hba1c control. As Hba1c rises, emotional intelligence reduces, and the experience of emotions increases (Coccaro, Drossos, & Phillipson, 2016). This finding was held when controlling for depression, income, cholesterol, diabetes literacy and self-care scores.

Papanas et al (2010) identified subject with adequate glycaemic control (Hba1c <7% n=67) had a significantly higher WHO-5 wellbeing score in comparison to those with inadequate glycaemic control (Hba1c >7% n=89) although this data does not come to the conclusion that poorer diabetes control leads lower wellbeing, nor suggest a converse or reverse association.

Positive Wellbeing

Insulin use is associated with less positive well-being than oral hypoglycaemic agents (Petterson, et al., 1998). Positive well-being is reduced with diabetes complications (Saatchi, et al., 2010). Positive well-being is reduced in those with neuropathic pain (Saatchi, et al., 2010).


The combination of higher resilience and lower distress predicts lower 1-year Hba1c levels (Yi, Wialiano, Smith, & Yi, 2008). Low to moderate resilience was associated with increases in distress and Hba1c levels and fewer self-care behaviours when experiencing higher distress (Yi, Wialiano, Smith, & Yi, 2008).

These relationships are not significant for the higher resilience group.

Emotional health

Literature reviews of positive emotional health is favourable associated with a diverse group of outcomes including reduced mortality, greater participation in self-care activity and lower Hba1c levels (Robertson, Stanley, Cully, & Naik, 2012)

A high purpose in life is associated with a reduction in mortality among elderly people in the community – HR, -0.6 (Ryff, 2014).

Social Connectedness

Social connectedness is associated with 50% higher reductions in Hba1c, better knowledge of diabetes, better self efficacy and 2.98lb extra weight loss in a study by Shaya et al (2014).

Peer coaching has a significant impact on Hba1c control, one hypothesis regarding this impact is due to greater social connection (Thom, et al., 2013).

Positive emotions

Positive emotions are the state of experiencing a ‘positive emotion’ rather than the general perspective of satisfaction. 341 patients studied on positive emotions as predictors in the management of type 2 diabetes. Results of regression analysis revealed that positive emotions and compliance predicted better diabetes management.

The model accounted for 62% of variance explained in the prediction for diabetes management. Inspiration was the most significant predictor of diabetes management. Positive emotions were found to improve diabetes management. (Shamim & Muazzam, 2018). The study also found by enhancing positive emotions this improves diabetes management among patients with Type II diabetes. (Shamim & Muazzam, 2018)



Coccaro, E. F., Drossos, T., & Phillipson, L. (2016). Hba1c levels as a function of emotional regulation and emotional intelligence in patients with type 2 Diabetes. Primary Care Diabetes, 10(5), 334-341.

Robertson, S. M., Stanley, M. A., Cully, J. A., & Naik, A. D. (2012). Positive emotional health and diabetes care: concepts, measurement and clinical implications. Psychosomatics, 53(1), 1-12.

Saatchi, E., Tahmiscioglu, G., Bozdemir, N., Akpinar, E., Ozcan, S., & Kurdak, H. (2010). The well-being and treatment satisfaction of diabetic patients in primary care. Helaht Qual Life Outcomes, 8, 67-74.

Seligman, M. E. (2002). Positive psychology, positive prevention, and positive therapy. In Handbook of positive psychology (pp. 3-12).

Shamim, A., & Muazzam, A. (2018). Positive emotions as predictors in the management of type 2 diabetes. Pakistan Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 16(2), 27-33.

Yi, J. P., Wialiano, P. P., Smith, R. E., & Yi, J. C. (2008). The role of resilience on psychological adjustment and physical health in patients with diabetes. British Journal of Health Psychology, 13, 311-325.

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