To assess the relationship between patient's perception of his own inferior limbs symptom and function and the clinical-neurophysiological assessment in patients affected by insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM). We studied 50 consecutive outpatients affected by IDDM (23 men, 27 women). We used validated measurements clinical [Semmes-Weinstein (SW), vibration perception threshold (VPT), muscle strength, osteotendineous reflexes, etc.], neurophysiological (sural, peroneal nerves), metabolic and patient-oriented [North American Spine Society (NASS) questionnaire]. Patient-oriented scores were significantly related with neurophysiological findings of the inferior limbs. Our data suggest that electrodiagnostic tests are useful to assess the severity of the diabetic polyneuropathy not only because they provide a biological measurement of the nerve function but also because they appeared related to the patient's quality of life related to the peripheral nerve involvement.