What information needs do people with recently diagnosed diabetes mellitus have and what are the associated factors? A cross-sectional study in Germany

BMJ Open. 2018 Oct 31;8(10):e017895. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2017-017895.


Objectives: This study aimed to identify: (1) information needs of people with recently diagnosed type 1 or type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM); (2) information needs within different subgroups; and (3) factors associated with information needs concerning DM such as current level of information, health-related quality of life or participation preferences.

Design: A mixed-method approach combining quantitative and qualitative methods was used. Information needs for different topics and estimated associated factors were described using logistic regression models. Additionally, a qualitative content analysis was performed.

Setting: Monocentre study.

Participants: Information needs were assessed and analysed in 138 consecutive participants with DM who took part in the German Diabetes Study (54% type 2 diabetes, 64% male, mean age 46.3±12.3 years, known diabetes duration <1 year).

Results: Most participants displayed a need for information in all topics provided, especially in diabetes research (86%) and treatment/therapy (80%). Regarding those topics, participants wished for information regarding new treatments that simplify their everyday life. In general, participants preferred topics that focus on the management or handling of DM over topics related to clinical factors of DM, such as causes and complications. A low current level of information and treatment with antihyperglycaemic medication were significantly associated with higher information needs, and diabetes-related comorbidity and higher mental component summary score in the 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36) with lower information needs.

Conclusion: People with recently diagnosed DM display high information needs, which differ according to the current level of information, mode of diabetes treatment, diabetes-related comorbidity and mental component summary score in the SF-36. There appears to be a preference for information, which can help to simplify life with diabetes and for information that corresponds to their level of knowledge. This should be considered in patient information activities.

Trial registration number: NCT01055093.

Keywords: german diabetes study; information needs; patient-centred care; recently diagnosed diabetes mellitus.

Publication types

  • Observational Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Comorbidity
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / therapy*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / therapy*
  • Female
  • Germany
  • Health Services Needs and Demand / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Needs Assessment*
  • Patient Education as Topic*
  • Quality of Life
  • Risk Factors
  • Social Support
  • Stress, Psychological / therapy
  • Surveys and Questionnaires

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT01055093