Contemporary roles of the pediatric psychologist in diabetes care

Jessica C. Kichler, Michael A. Harris, Jill Weissberg-Benchell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Important stakeholders, including the American Diabetes Association (ADA) and the International Society of Pediatric and Adolescent Diabetes (ISPAD), recognize the need for psychologists to be an integral part of diabetes care. This review paper aims to provide a comprehensive examination of pediatric psychologists’ roles in working with children and adolescents with diabetes, including during distinct phases of treatment (e.g., diagnosis, outpatient diabetes clinic visits, inpatient hospitalizations, and outpatient psychology visits) and with different modalities of psychological interventions (e.g., screening, individual, family, and group therapy). In addition, the role of the psychologist in diabetes care within various settings (e.g., private practice, academic medical centers, and community organizations) will be explored. Finally, this paper will outline other roles in which psychologists contribute to diabetes-specific efforts (e.g., translational research, program development in transition to adult care, advocacy for health care reform initiatives, health care billing/reimbursement, and alternative methods to psychosocial care delivery) as well as future directions for working with children and adolescents with diabetes. Pediatric psychologists have multiple professional roles in a wide variety of settings; however, there is more that can be done in the future to fully utilize pediatric psychologists in diabetes care for children and adolescents, such as embedding psychologists into integrated clinic visits where families receive comprehensive medical and psychological services to support overall health and well-being. Therefore, there is a need for increased advocacy to obtain even more pediatric psychology engagement in diabetes care to provide new clinical services and develop more translational research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)210-221
Number of pages12
JournalCurrent Diabetes Reviews
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2015


  • Diabetes care
  • Intervention
  • Pediatric psychology
  • Research
  • Youth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology


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