Alexithymia among elderlypatients with diabetes | Hintistan | Pakistan Journal of Medical Sciences Old Website

Alexithymia among elderlypatients with diabetes

Sevilay Hintistan, Dilek Cilingir, Nermin Birinci


Objective: To determine alexithymic characteristics and affecting factors in the elderly with diabetes mellitus.

Methods: This study was planned as a cross-sectional and descriptive study and was conducted in a state Hospital with 120 elderly patients with diabetes. Data were collected using a personal information form and the Toronto Alexithymia Scale.

Results: Alexithymia was found in 75.8% of the elderly with diabetes mellitus. It was determined that patients experienced higher than average difficulty in describing and identifying feelings. They also had more externally-oriented thinking styles. Patients’ income levels, family structure and illness duration affected their manifestation of alexithymic characteristics.

Conclusion: Majority of elderly patients with diabetes exhibited alexithymic characteristics. However, these were not shown to be associated with sex, age, marital, educational or professional status.  In addition, no connection was found between alexithymia and glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c), body mass index (BMI), postprandial glucose (PBG), and the treatment and complications of diabetes mellitus.


How to cite this:Hintistan S, Cilingir D, Birinci N. Alexithymia among elderly patients with diabetes. Pak J Med Sci 2013;29(6):1344-1348.   doi:

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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