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Improved Quality of Life Outcomes from Diabetes Education

Improvements in HbA1c among participants completing a diabetes self-management program were associated with better diabetes-specific quality of life…. 

Innovations in primary care that engage patients in self-management and improve clinical biomarkers, such as HbA1c, may also be associated with better quality of life, a key outcome from the patient perspective.

The authors conducted a retrospective cohort study nested within a randomized comparative effectiveness trial of diabetes self-management interventions in 75 diabetic patients.

Multiple linear regression models were developed to examine the relationship between change in HbA1c from baseline to one-year follow-up and Diabetes-39 (a diabetes–specific quality of life measure) at one year.

The results showed that, HbA1c levels improved for the overall cohort from baseline to one-year follow-up (t (74) = 3.09, p = .0029). The one-year follow up HbA1c was correlated with worse overall quality of life (r = 0.33, p = 0.004). And, improvements in HbA1c from baseline to one-year follow-up were associated with greater D-39 diabetes control (beta = 0.23, p = .04) and D–39 sexual functioning (beta = 0.25, p = .03) quality of life subscales.

These findings document that people with diabetes experience improved QOL from participation in diabetes self-management training programs. Future diabetes self-management intervention studies should include quality of life outcomes so that this important outcome can be further studied. After more primary studies are available, future meta-analyses can explore important moderator analyses.

Diabetes Educ. 2008 Sep-Oct;34(5):815-23