Treatment burden, stress, and coping in the context of social distancing: A qualitative study of patients with diabetes mellitus


About this study

The purpose of this study is to track the treatment burden experienced by patients living with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM) experience as they work to manage their illness in the context of social distancing measures. 


To promote social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic, health care institutions around the world have rapidly expanded their use of telemedicine to replace in-office appointments where possible.1 For patients with diabetes, who spend considerable time and energy engaging with various components of the health care system,2,3 this unexpected and abrupt transition to virtual health care may signal significant changes to the treatment burden associated with diabetes management.4 Previous research has characterized the effect of telemedicine approaches on outcomes such as glycemic control, patient satisfaction, cost savings, and appointment adherence rates,5-8 but its influence on treatment burden has not been explored. Importantly, work in this area has largely drawn from the experiences of patients who voluntarily selected to use virtual health services. The current situation, in which patients with chronic health conditions have been obligated to use telemedicine in order to receive care, therefore presents a unique opportunity to explore the ways in which virtual diabetes management impacts the workload associated with managing chronic illness.

Aim: Explore patient experiences managing diabetes mellitus in the context of recent widespread changes in healthcare and social distancing due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, including barriers and facilitators to obtaining needed health care services and changes in social networks. To accomplish this aim, we will conduct qualitative interviews with up to 30 participants.


Participation eligibility

Participant eligibility includes age, gender, type and stage of disease, and previous treatments or health concerns. Guidelines differ from study to study, and identify who can or cannot participate. There is no guarantee that every individual who qualifies and wants to participate in a trial will be enrolled. Contact the study team to discuss study eligibility and potential participation.

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Adult (≥ 18 years old)
  • Diagnosis of diabetes mellitus using insulin pump and/or CGM technology
  • No evidence of cognitive impairment
  • English proficiency
  • Has a contact telephone number listed in patient chart

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Pediatric patients (<18 years old)
  • Not diagnosed with diabetes mellitus
  • Evidence of cognitive impairment, or inability to give consent
  • Limited English proficiency
  • No telephone number listed in patient chart

Participating Mayo Clinic locations

Study statuses change often. Please contact the study team for the most up-to-date information regarding possible participation.

Mayo Clinic Location Status Contact

Rochester, Minn.

Mayo Clinic principal investigator

Victor Montori, M.D.

Closed-enrolling by invitation

What is this? (?)
Not open to everyone who meets the eligibility criteria, but only those invited to participate by the study team.

Contact information:

Elizabeth Golembiewski Ph.D., M.P.H.

(507) 284-1920

More information


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