Contributors to Depressive Symptoms Among Korean Immigrants With Type 2 Diabetes

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Patients with diabetes have a higher prevalence of depression than the general population. Korean immigrants with type 2 diabetes are understudied.


The aim of this study was to identify the prevalence and correlates of depressive symptoms in Korean immigrants.


In this cross-sectional descriptive study, a community sample of 164 Korean immigrant adults with type 2 diabetes were assessed for depressive symptoms using the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression scale. Predictors of depression were grouped into three categories: demographic (age, gender, education, English proficiency), clinical (duration of diabetes, comorbidities, insulin use), and psychosocial (general health, diabetes-related quality of life [QOL], family support).


Approximately 56% of participants had Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale scores of ≥16. Higher levels of depression were associated with greater impact of diabetes on QOL (b = 5.68, p = .001), worse overall health (b = −0.09, p = .012), and less family support (b = −4.02, p = .042). The relationship between depression and diabetes impact on QOL was stronger for men than women (b = 6.67, p = .020).


Depressive symptoms are common among Korean immigrants with type 2 diabetes. Assessing diabetes-related QOL, general health, and family support may be of value in better understanding depressive symptoms among this population. Among Korean immigrant men with type 2 diabetes, specific attention should be paid to diabetes-related QOL.

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