Improving patient's duration and quality of life is the long-term goal of treatment of diabetes mellitus. The aim of our study was to estimate the quality of life of patients with diabetes mellitus type 2 (NIDDM) followed in primary care, using the newly developed and validated questionnaire Well- being Enquiry for Diabetes (WED). The questionnaire evaluates four areas of quality of life: diabetes-related somatic symptoms and physical functioning (Symptoms); diabetes-related worries and emotional status (Discomfort); mental health (Serenity); familiar relationship, role functioning and social network (Impact). We randomly selected 100 patients with NIDDM in our practice, of which 98 answered the questionnaires (mean age + SD: 64.6 + 9.5; 44 males, 54 females; duration of disease: 8.3 + 6.0 years; 23.5% on diet only, 67.3% on oral hypoglycaemic agents, 5.1% on both oral hypoglycaemic agents and insulin and 4.1% on insulin). Micro-macroangiopathy was present in 33 patients (33.7% - 15 males, 18 females). In each patient we considered the following variables: age, sex, duration of disease, type of treatment in use, presence of complications. Females totalized lower total WED scores than males (p=0.0001) and lower scores in each of the four areas. Patients with chronic complications had a lower score than patients without complications (p=0.19). Those who were insulin-treated showed lower total WED scores when compared with those treated with oral hypoglycaemic agents or with diet only. Multivariate analysis showed a correlation between WED scores and sex (p=0.0001) or complications (p=0.049), but not with duration of disease (p=0.28) or age (p=0.15). In conclusion, the WED questionnaire appears to be a simple, reliable measure of diabetic-related quality of life in primary care. Females had significantly lower scores than males with the widest difference in the area of Serenity. This is in accordance with general data showing higher psychiatric morbidity (anxiety, depression, eating disorders) among females. The values of WED give the family physician a possibility to audit on his/her own work and to identify NIDDM patients who need intervention to improve their quality of life.
|Translated title of the contribution||The quality of life of patients with diabetes mellitus type 2|
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||Ricerca e Pratica|
|Publication status||Published - 1999|
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