Understanding relationships between diabetes mellitus and health-related quality of life in a rural community
Citation: Thommasen HV, Berkowitz J, Thommasen AT, Michalos AC. Understanding relationships between diabetes mellitus and health-related quality of life in a rural community. Rural and Remote Health (Internet) 2005; 5: 441. Available: http://www.rrh.org.au/articles/subviewnew.asp?ArticleID=441 (Accessed 19 October 2017)
Introduction: There is a lack of information on health-related quality of life (HRQOL) for Aboriginal diabetic people. Objective: To investigate HRQOL among aboriginal diabetics living in an isolated, rural Canadian community.
Methods: Design: Mixed methods: (1) A mailed health-related survey; and (2) a population based retrospective chart review. Study Population: People aged 17 years and older living in the Bella Coola Valley, British Columbia, Canada, and having a chart at the Bella Coola Medical Clinic as of September 2001 were asked to complete a detailed HRQOL survey during the period August to December 2001. Main outcome measures: Demographics (age, sex, ethnicity). Health-related quality of life was measured using the MOS 36-item Short Form Health Survey (SF-36), and the US Centers for Disease Control healthy day’s items.
Results: Relatively greater percentages of diabetic people (n = 72 [57%]) completed the survey than did non-diabetics (n = 675 [37%]). Mean scores for Aboriginal people were lower/poorer than mean scores for non-Aboriginal people in all the quality of life questions. Mean scores for diabetic people were lower than mean scores for non-diabetics in all the quality of life questions. Aboriginal diabetics reported the worst scores on almost all of our quality of life questions.
Conclusion: Rural diabetics experience significant impairment in their health-related quality of life. Among rural diabetics, Aboriginals report the worst HRQOL scores. Compared with other people, Aboriginals fare worse in HRQOL, which may explain the difference.
Key words: Aboriginals, Canada, diabetes mellitus.
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