Aims: To investigate the health-related quality of life of patients with diabetes mellitus in Singapore and its associations with diabetes-related characteristics and glycaemic control.
Methods: An interviewer-administered, cross-sectional survey was conducted in a sample of 301 adult diabetes patients under primary care. The survey questionnaire included both a generic health-related quality of life measure, the Euroqol 5-D and a diabetes-specific instrument, the Audit of Diabetes-dependent Quality of Life. Patients' most recent HbA(1c) values were extracted from their medical records.
Results: After excluding patients who lacked the 90-day HbA(1c) test result, the final number of responses analysed was 282. Pain/discomfort was the most common complaint among the five Euroqol 5-D domains (by 28.0% of the respondents). Lack of freedom to eat was the Audit of Diabetes-dependent Quality of Life domain with the greatest negative average weighted impact (= -3.8, on a scale of -9 to 3). A significant association was observed between Audit of Diabetes-dependent Quality of Life average weighted impact and both duration of diabetes and use of insulin. A negative correlation was found between health-related quality of life and HbA(1c) values in both health-related quality of life measures (both r=-0.2, P=0.001).
Conclusions: Patients with diabetes in primary-care settings frequently reported problems with pain/discomfort and restrictions in diet. Poorer health-related quality of life was found to be associated with higher HbA(1c) values. The chronicity of diabetes and insulin therapy may have a negative impact on patients' diabetes-related health-related quality of life. This study indicates the importance of achieving better disease management to improve the health-related quality of life of patients with diabetes.
© 2012 The Authors. Diabetic Medicine © 2012 Diabetes UK.