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Psychological Aspects of Diabetes for Health Care Providers

Rationale for the Training Program:

As a chronic illness, diabetes mellitus represents a challenge for the patient, the family, and health care providers. It is well recognized currently that effective management of diabetes and other chronic illnesses requires an understanding of several factors and undertaking a multitude of interventions in the context of total human experience and functioning.
This training program in the psychosocial aspects of diabetes is an attempt to provide health professional with knowledge about the psychological factors related to diabetes management. Further, the awareness of non-medical influences will enhance health professionals' skills in communication, counseling, and interdisciplinary work. This, in turn, is expected to enhance the quality of life of the patient and his/her family as well as enlighten significant others (i.e., teachers, counselors, social workers) of the roles they can play in promoting the psychosocial coping with this chronic illness.


1.    ncreasing health care providers' awareness of the influences of non-medical factors on the total functioning of patients with diabetes.
2.    Increasing health care providers' awareness of the varied needs of patients with diabetes and their families.
3.    Enhancing health professionals' skills in communicating with patients with diabetes and their families as well as significant others.
4.    Assisting health professionals in developing effective counseling skills in working with patients with diabetes and their families.
5.    Encouraging health professionals' involvement with interdisciplinary teamwork in managing diabetes.


Total Duration of Training: (45) hours
Modules: Five modules (psychosocial aspects, communication skills, counseling strategies, and special considerations related to type 1 diabetes, and interdisciplinary work in diabetes management)
General Training Methods: Theoretical information (i.e., lectures, selected articles) and practical experiences (i.e., group discussions, interviews, case studies, presentations of experiences of persons with diabetes and their families, and role playing)
Assignments: Writing reports about case studies, interviews, and other activities; quizzes; and article analysis and critiques
Trainees: Physicians, nutritionists, and nurses
Trainers: Professionals in counseling, special education, social science, and psychology GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF THE PROGRAM:

Human Nutrition

1. Human Nutrition

Course description:

Human Nutrition provides an integrated overview of the physiological requirements and the functions of protein, lipid, carbohydrate, energy and the major vitamins and minerals that are determinants of health and disease in human population.
Course objectives:
Upon completion of this course, students should be able to:

  • Define the science of nutrition, and discuss the importance of nutritional adequacy and balance for optimal growth and health
  • Discuss, interpret and uses dietary recommendations
  • Define the major macro and micronutrients (and their interactions) as related to human health
  • Discuss the scientific rational for defining nutritional requirements in healthy individuals and populations.
  • Present current evidence for the role of key nutrients in the prevention of chronic disease
  • Discuss the functions of the major nutrients, and the effects on health of deficiency and excesses.


Course Topics:

  • Introduction to Human Nutrition
  • Nutrition knowledge base and research methodology
  • Dietary reference standards and food-based dietary recommendation
  • Energy physiology:
    • Body composition
    • Energy metabolism
    • Energy balance
  • Macronutrients:
    • Nutrition and metabolism of carbohydrates
    • Dietary fiber
    • Nutrition and metabolism of proteins
    • Nutrition and metabolism of lipids
  • Alcohol: its metabolism and effects
  • Fat-soluble vitamins
  • Water soluble vitamins
  • Minerals and trace elements



Krause’s; Food , Nutrition and Diet Therapy (11th Edition) (2004). L.K. Mahan and S. Escot-Stump. W.B.Saunders

I. Reference books:

  1. Present Knowledge in Nutrition (8th Edition) (2001), B. A. Bowman and R. M. Russell. ILSI Press. Washington, DC
  2. Human Nutrition and Dietetics (2000), J.S. Carrow, W.P.T James, A Ralph. Churchill Livingston.
  3. Understanding Normal and Clinical Nutrition (latest edition) Whitney EN, Cataldo CB and Rolfes SR. Wadsworth.
  4. Introduction to Human Nutrition (2002).  M. J. Gibney. H.H. Vorster and F. J Kok. Blackwell Science.
  5. Nutrition and Metabolism (2003). M. J. Gibney. I.A. Macdonald and H. M.Roche. Blackwell Science.

II. Others Relevant websites of professional societies and articles in refereed journals

2.  Life Cycle Nutrition

Course Description

Study of the basic nutritional needs and assessment of individuals throughout their life cycle: infancy, childhood, adolescence, adulthood and older adults and special nutritional requirements for pregnancy and lactation.


Course objectives:

Upon completion of this course, students should be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of nutrient needs and nutritional status at different stages of the life cycle.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the contribution of breast-feeding to optimal infant nutrition, health and well-being.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of proposed theories of aging and the potential impact of nutritional status on age related physiological changes.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the role of nutrition in prevention and treatment of various nutrition related non-communicable diseases (Barker’s hypothesis).
  • Relate nutrient needs to developmental levels and plan diets that will adequately meet the needs of given levels.
  • Describe the importance of environment, feeding skills, psychological and physiological factors to total nutrition
  • Select, utilize and evaluate dietary intakes and feeding programs for individuals throughout the life cycle.
  • Course Topics
  • Preconception Nutrition
  • Nutrition during Pregnancy
  • Nutrition during Lactation
  • Infant Nutrition
  • Toddler and Preschooler Nutrition
  • Child and Preadolescent Nutrition
  • Adolescent Nutrition
  • Adult Nutrition
  • Nutrition and the Elderly
  • Special concerns across the life span



Nutrition through the Life Cycle, 2nd edition. Judith E. Brown, Janet Issacs, Beate Krinke, Maureen Murtaugh, Carolyn Sharbaugh, Jamie Stang and Nancy Wooldridge.  Wadsworth 2005.

3.  Nutritional Status Assessment

Course Description

This course will provide knowledge in methods of nutritional assessment in humans to evaluate dietary intake, body composition, and use of biochemical and clinical markers for assessment of human nutritional status. This course will also provide understanding of the theory behind four types of assessment (ABCD): anthropometric, biochemical, clinical, and dietary.

Learning objectives:

During this course the student will be able to:

  1. Obtain "hands-on" experience performing anthropometric measurements
  2. Apply different methods to measure dietary intake
  3. Apply knowledge of dietary standards, guidelines, and recommendations
  4. Apply nutrition screening tools, such as biochemical and clinical methods, and energy expenditure measurements


Course Outline:

  • Introduction
  • Nutritional Assessment
  • Anthropometric Measurements: Interpretation and use of growth charts
  • Biochemical assessment and criteria
  • Dietary Methods
  • Dietary Recommendations
  • Measurement of Energy Expenditure
  • Clinical Assessment and diagnosis


Text Book:

Nutritional Assessment, latest edition. Lee and Nieman. McGraw Hill. Handouts
Online Professional Association resources and refereed journals.