Background: A study was undertaken to assess the quality of life of patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus and to ascertain whether clinicians and non-diabetic respondents from the general public have similar views of the impact of diabetes upon health-related quality of life.
Material/methods: Time tradeoff utility values were generated from a standardized time-tradeoff questionnaire. Three hundred and fifty-two individuals with type 1 or type 2 diabetes mellitus, 157 non-diabetic participants from the general public (community), and 61 health care clinicians participated in the study.
Results: The mean utility score for diabetic patients was 0.889 and the median utility score was 1.000. The mean utility score for clinicians was 0.861, with a median value of 0.894, while the respective mean and median scores for the general public were 0.919 and 0.953. There was a significant difference between the distribution of the means of scores of clinicians and patients as well as between clinicians and the general public. There was no significant difference between the utility scores of patients and the general public. Within the group of diabetic patients, there was no significant difference in utility scores between type 1 and type 2 diabetics.
Conclusions: Clinicians tended to overemphasize the impact that diabetes mellitus has on health related quality of life, while the non-diabetic publics' utility values are more closely correlated with those of diabetics themselves. We conclude that there is a significant difference in how clinicians, diabetics and the general public perceive the effect diabetes has upon quality of life.