Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Eberly College of Arts and Sciences



Committee Chair

Cynthia R. Kalodner.


Although psychologists are beginning to be employed in medical settings, little is known about medical patients' preferences when encountering mental health problems. One population that could be better served by this type of research is diabetes mellitus because of the poor adherence rates and high depression associated with the disease. The current study aimed to identify diabetes patients' preferences for treatments and helpers when encountering emotional difficulties. Data were collected on 80 patients from an Appalachian region of the United States who had previously been diagnosed with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Results indicated that diabetes patients were less willing to seek out the help of psychological professionals as compared to medical professionals. Psychological professionals were also rated as less effective at treating emotional problems than medical professionals. Patients were willing to use a variety of treatments, but psychological treatments were rated as less effective than non-psychological treatments. Additionally, satisfaction regarding one's treatment, impact of diabetes, gender, and hope were related to willingness to use treatments and seek out the help of psychologists. Discussion focuses on the collaboration between medical and psychological professionals, message framing/making referrals, consumer education, and the need for treatment acceptability research in the area of health psychology.