Health Promotion Projects on Mental Health

A randomised controlled trial evaluating efficacy of a psychological intervention based on Commonsense Model in improving mental health and self-care among Type-2 Diabetes Mellitus Patients


Type-2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM) patients are twice likely to develop depression and more likely to have mental health problems than general population. Mental health in T2DM patient is also significantly associated with adherence to self-care activities and complications related to their illness. Common diabetic interventions targeted either on mental health or self-care activities, but relatively few interventions target both aspects, as well as how patients think of their illness, a concept known as illness representation (IR). This proposed study was designed to examine whether an intervention based on Common-sense model (CSM) designed to alter patients’ IR about their T2DM would result in better mental health and adherence to self-care activities.  

A prospective parallel group two-arm randomised controlled trial (RCT) was proposed. A total of 455 T2DM patients were recruited from outpatient DM clinic. Eligible patients were randomized to an intervention group based on CSM or a control group with educational booklets. The primary outcome was depression, for which data was collected at baseline, after one month and after six months follow-up. In addition, data on secondary outcomes were collected on anxiety, negative affect and diabetes-related distress, and improving coping, self-care, self-care self-efficacy, IR towards T2DM, while blood glucose level was assessed from medical record.


The study showed that CSM intervention was effective in improving self-care and coping among DM patients. The intervention also demonstrated high level of feasibility and acceptability. The findings provided important insights on integrating both cognitive and emotional IR in improving health-related outcomes for patients with T2DM.

Funded by Health and Medical Research Fund