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J Diabetes Complications. 2015 Nov-Dec;29(8):1112-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jdiacomp.2015.08.015. Epub 2015 Aug 22.

Patient reported outcomes for diabetic peripheral neuropathy.

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Mid-Atlantic Permanente Research Institute, Kaiser Permanente Mid-Atlantic States, Rockville, MD; Lewin Group, Falls Church, VA.
Division of Research, Kaiser Permanente Northern California, Oakland, CA.
Institute for Health Research, Kaiser Permanente Colorado, Denver, CO; School of Social Work, College of Health and Human Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO.
Institute for Health Research, Kaiser Permanente Colorado, Denver, CO; Department of Family Medicine, University of Colorado Denver, Aurora, CO. Electronic address:



Multiple patient-reported outcomes (PROs) have been used to assess symptoms among patients with Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy (DPN). However, there is little consistent application of measures in clinical or research settings. Our goal was to identify and compare patient reported outcome measures (PROs) specifically evaluated in neuropathy populations.


Literature search, summary, and qualitative comparison of PROs validated in neuropathy populations.


We identified 12 studies of PROs evaluated in neuropathy populations that included DPN patients. Two assessed sleep quality, 5 assessed painful symptoms, and 5 assessed quality of life. The number of items per measure ranged from one to 97, and the number of domains ranged from one to 18. All had adequate internal consistency (Chronbach's Alpha>0.70). There was mild to moderate standardization of domains across measures and only a few instruments used common comparators. The spectrum of DPN symptoms addressed included: sensory symptoms, autonomic symptoms, and function, beliefs, role participation, sleep quality, and perceptions of illness.


There remains a need for a gold standard for DPN symptom assessment. Few existing instruments are adequately validated and the domains assessed are inconsistent. Current instrument selection should depend on the clinical and social context of the assessment.


Diabetes; Neuropathy; Patient-reported outcome; Quality of life; Treatment

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