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Open Access Open Badges Study protocol

Psychological risk factors of micro- and macrovascular outcomes in primary care patients with type 2 diabetes: rationale and design of the DiaDDZoB Study

Giesje Nefs, François Pouwer*, Johan Denollet and Victor JM Pop

Author Affiliations

CoRPS - Center of Research on Psychology in Somatic diseases, Department of Medical Psychology and Neuropsychology, Tilburg University, Tilburg, The Netherlands

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BMC Public Health 2010, 10:388  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-10-388

Published: 1 July 2010



Depression is a common psychiatric complication of diabetes, but little is known about the natural course and the consequences of depressive symptoms in primary care patients with type 2 diabetes. While depression has been related to poor glycemic control and increased risk for macrovascular disease, its association with microvascular complications remains understudied. The predictive role of other psychological risk factors such as Type D (distressed) personality and the mechanisms that possibly link depression and Type D personality with poor vascular outcomes are also still unclear.


This prospective cohort study will examine: (1) the course of depressive symptoms in primary care patients with type 2 diabetes; (2) whether depressive symptoms and Type D personality are associated with the development of microvascular and/or macrovascular complications and with the risk of all-cause or vascular mortality; and (3) the behavioral and physiological mechanisms that may mediate these associations. The DiaDDZoB Study is embedded within the larger DIAZOB Primary Care Diabetes study, which covers a comprehensive cohort of type 2 diabetes patients treated by over 200 primary care physicians in South-East Brabant, The Netherlands. These patients will be followed during their lifetime and are assessed annually for demographic, clinical, lifestyle and psychosocial factors. Measurements include an interviewer-administered and self-report questionnaire, regular care laboratory tests and physical examinations, and pharmacy medication records. The DiaDDZoB Study uses data that have been collected during the original baseline assessment in 2005 (M0; N = 2,460) and the 2007 (M1; N = 2,225) and 2008 (M2; N = 2,032) follow-up assessments.


The DiaDDZoB Study is expected to contribute to the current understanding of the course of depression in primary care patients with type 2 diabetes and will also test whether depressed patients or those with Type D personality are at increased risk for (further) development of micro- and cardiovascular disease. More knowledge about the mechanisms behind this association is needed to guide new intervention studies.