November 02, 2011 08:00 ET

9 out of 10 Physicians Feel Mood Disorders Negatively Impact Diabetes Care: QuantiaMD Study

56% of Physicians Say Mood Disorders Affect More Than a Quarter of Their Diabetes Patients

WALTHAM, MA--(Marketwire - Nov 2, 2011) - A new study of over 5,000 clinicians by QuantiaMD, the largest mobile and online physician community, explores the top challenges in diabetes patient care. In the study, clinicians shed light on the major impact of mood disorders on patient motivation. Nearly 90% of clinicians indicate that mood disorders result in non-adherence to self-care instructions. Also of note, study participants believe lack of patient motivation is a greater barrier to reaching critical care goals than lack of education. Please view the study report for Diabetes and American Life Module 2: Top Challenges in Patient Care, at

A majority of respondents (56%) report that at least one-quarter of their patients have a mood disorder such as depression, while 13% say that over half of their patients have a mood disorder. Mood disorders often underlie patients' failure to make follow-up appointments, manage their medications and keep referral appointments. QuantiaMD is working within its Diabetes Special Interest Group to help clinicians address these and other issues through educational content, active dialogue and open collaboration.

"This QuantiaMD study underscores a significant and sometimes overlooked issue," said Paul Jellinger, MD, MACE, Professor of Clinical Medicine, University of Miami. "We must recognize the effects of mood disorders and learn to treat them appropriately. A clinician can educate a diabetes patient on his condition, but if that patient is depressed and, as a result, unmotivated, the education will not be effective until the depression is addressed."

Respondents report that many patients are not reaching critical care goals, with only 26% of patients reaching exercise goals and 31% reaching weight loss goals in their first year after diagnosis. Over half of clinicians say patients fall short of their weight and exercise goals due to their own lack of motivation, while only a small fraction of physicians (3%) feel that insufficient understanding of what they need to do is solely responsible, clearly highlighting patient motivation as fundamental to successful diabetes treatment.

Study respondents acknowledge obesity as a major patient challenge and, as a result, most recommend a specific weight loss program to their patients. Weight Watchers is by far the most popular, accounting for the vast majority of clinician recommendations. Recommended programs include:

  • Weight Watchers (79%)
  • ADA-affiliated program (44%)
  • Programs at the clinician's practice/institution (32%)
  • Atkins/South Beach/Zone (29%)
  • Nutrisystem (14%)

"QuantiaMD has partnered with leading diabetes organizations including UCSF and American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE), as well as with noted diabetes educators including Hope Warshaw and Gary Scheiner, to create tools to help physicians motivate and educate patients with diabetes about self care," said Amy Malick, PhD, Managing Editor of the QuantiaMD Diabetes Special Interest Group. "We've partnered with AADE to create a program with Richard G. Roberts, MD, JD, FAAFP, FCLM, President, World Organization of Family Doctors, Past President, American Academy of Family Physicians, to guide physicians on how best to work with diabetes educators to meet the needs of patients."

This QuantiaMD study is the second module of the six-part "Diabetes and American Life" study, which brings together clinicians with significant diabetes Type 2 caseloads. The next module will address physician pay and incentives in diabetes, bringing to light clinician views on whether incentives are aligned with providing optimal care to diabetes patients, and -- in cases where they are not -- what might be done to address misaligned incentives.

About the Diabetes Special Interest Group
The Diabetes Special Interest Group (SIG) helps physicians tackle the complexities of diabetes management, bridge the gaps in care, and bring high-impact diabetes tools to their patients. SIG members work together and with experts to achieve these goals through education, sharing resources, and discussion. This SIG is one of many that QuantiaMD members can join to connect with medical colleagues across the country who share the same passions. Please view the Diabetes SIG at

About QuantiaMD
As the largest mobile and online physician community, QuantiaMD exists to help physicians reshape medical practice for modern times. QuantiaMD members share expert thinking, test their understanding, and stay ahead of rapid scientific advances. More than 125,000 members access QuantiaMD for free through any smartphone, tablet or computer. QuantiaMD® is a registered trademark of Quantia Communications, Inc, a privately held corporation headquartered in Waltham, Massachusetts, USA. All other product names and references contained herein remain the service marks, trademarks, or registered trademarks of their respective owners. For more information, visit

Contact Information

  • QuantiaMD contact:
    Ross Homer
    Communications Manager
    Email Contact