Measuring the quality of life of patients with diabetes: Validating the tool and determining the effects on quality of life

Karen R Harker, The University of Texas School of Public Health


There are several tools for measuring quality of life (QoL) and specifically, health-related quality of life (HRQoL) for persons with diabetes. A commonly-used measure, the Diabetes Quality of Life (DQOL) Survey, developed for the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial (DCCT), has been used in several experimental settings, and its reliability and validity are well-established. However, it is considered too long to be of practical use in clinical settings. Because of this, a shortened version of the tool was used recently in the Community Diabetes Education (CoDE) Project in Dallas, Texas, a clinic-based patient education program that uses a specially-trained community healthcare worker to provide patient education. However, the modified scale has never been tested for reliability and validity. Thus, one goal of this thesis was to measure these psychometric properties of the scale. After establishing the reliability and validity, the results of the scale were analyzed to determine the effects of the intervention on the subjects’ quality of life. The changes in QoL scales were compared with changes in physiologic measures which are most closely allied with diabetes, including blood glucose levels, weight/BMI, co-morbidities and health beliefs in order to determine if there is a relationship between such measures and quality of life. The results of the reliability and validity testing were not conclusive. Measures of reliability and criterion validity were established, but these contrasted with poor measures of repeatability and content validity. The effect of the intervention on quality of life, however, was more significant, particularly regarding the impact of diabetes. Those who received the counseling had significantly higher scores on the Impact scale than those who did not, and the former group had much greater improvement in scores over the twelve month period than the latter group.

Subject Area

Public health|Epidemiology

Recommended Citation

Harker, Karen R, "Measuring the quality of life of patients with diabetes: Validating the tool and determining the effects on quality of life" (2007). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI1445131.