(HealthDay News) — The evidence-based family therapy program Behavioral Family Systems Therapy for Diabetes (BFST-D) improves both diabetes health outcomes and depressive symptoms among adolescents with type 1 diabetes, according to a study published in Diabetes Care.

Andrew R. Riley, PhD, from the Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, and colleagues randomly assigned adolescents with depressive symptoms and type 1 diabetes in suboptimal glycemic control (HbA1c of 9% [75 mmol/mol] or greater) to participate in BFST-D either via Internet videoconferencing or in person. 

Given no significant differences between the groups in the randomized controlled trial, groups were collapsed into a within-group prepost design for secondary analyses.

There were significant improvements in glycemic control, depressive symptoms and family functioning from pre- to post-treatment, according to the data. Within-subject mediation analysis demonstrated that improvements in depressive symptoms were partially mediated by improvements in parent-youth conflict. Yet family process changes did not mediate diabetes health outcomes.

“In addition to improving treatment adherence and glycemic control, BFST-D has collateral benefits on depressive symptoms,” the researchers wrote.


  1. Riley AR et al. Diabetes Care. 2015;doi:10.2337/dc14-2519.