Somatic items in the assessment of depressive symptoms in pediatric patients with diabetes

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9 Scopus citations


Depression inventories contain somatic items which may be related to disease rather than to depression in individuals with chronic illness. Adolescents with type 1 diabetes (n = 151) and medically well controls (n = 68) completed the Center for Epidemiological Studies-Depression Scale (CES-D) which includes somatic and cognitive/affective symptoms. Diabetes patients reported higher levels of all depressive symptoms than controls; the discrepancy was equivalent for somatic and cognitive/affective symptoms. For diabetes patients, somatic and cognitive/affective symptoms did not correlate with indices of disease control except for number of diabetes-related hospitalizations, where the correlations were equivalent. In participants with diabetes and in controls, somatic and cognitive/affective symptoms were strongly correlated with each other. These findings were not moderated by level of depressive symptoms. Our study suggests that the somatic items on the CES-D do not confound the measurement of depressive symptoms in young people with type 1 diabetes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)112-119
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Behavioral Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2011


  • Adolescents
  • Depression
  • Somatic symptoms
  • Type 1 diabetes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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