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Folia Med (Plovdiv). 2013 Jan-Mar;55(1):83-92.

Instruments for disease-specific quality-of-life measurement in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus--a systematic review.

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Department of Health Management, Health Economics and Primary Care, Faculty of Public Health, Medical University, Plovdiv, Bulgaria.


Diabetes mellitus is a disease which carries a considerable social impact in Bulgaria and across the world because of its high prevalence. Research literature has recently included lots of studies investigating the effects of diabetes mellitus on the quality of life of diabetic patients and also many instruments to assess these effects. Quality of life is a concept that encompasses an individual's subjective perception of physical, emotional and social wellbeing, including both a cognitive component (satisfaction) and an emotional component (happiness). We review and analyse in the present article major determinants of disease-specific quality of life in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus and the tools used for assessment.


Fourteen instruments for measuring quality of life in type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) met our search criteria. Their contents covered different quality-of-life domains or indicators-- typical diabetes symptoms, general health and quality of life, personality traits, physical functioning, mental and social well-being, treatment and quality of life. Most of the disease-specific tools had been field tested and data about their reliability and validity have been reported. Few tools had been subjected to formal assessment of their adaptability to changes.


Of the instruments we assessed the most promising approaches for measuring the diabetes-specific quality of life are offered by ADDQoL, DCP and WBQ. Patients were involved in the development of these tools which have been shown by a number of studies to have good internal reliability, external and construct validity. Efforts are being continually made worldwide to develop a standard ensuring valid, reliable, easy to use tool for assessing quality of life in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus in order to promote patients integration into society.

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