alexa Understanding relationships between diabetes mellitus and health-related quality of life in a rural community.


Primary Healthcare: Open Access

Author(s): Thommasen HV, Berkowitz J, Thommasen AT, Michalos AC

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Abstract 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.
This article was published in Rural Remote Health and referenced in Primary Healthcare: Open Access

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