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No consistent association between processes-of-care and health-related quality of life among patients with diabetes: a missing link?



Health-related quality of life (HRQoL) is considered a representative outcome in the evaluation of chronic disease management initiatives emphasizing patient-centered care. We evaluated the association between receipt of processes-of-care (PoC) for diabetes and HRQoL.


This cross-sectional study used self-reported data from non-institutionalized adults with diabetes in a Swiss canton. Outcomes were the physical/mental composites of the short form health survey 12 (SF-12) physical composite score, mental composite score (PCS, MCS) and the Audit of Diabetes-Dependent Quality of Life (ADDQoL). Main exposure variables were receipt of six PoC for diabetes in the past 12 months, and the Patient Assessment of Chronic Illness Care (PACIC) score. We performed linear regressions to examine the association between PoC, PACIC and the three composites of HRQoL.


Mean age of the 519 patients was 64.5 years (SD 11.3); 60% were male, 87% reported type 2 or undetermined diabetes and 48% had diabetes for over 10 years. Mean HRQoL scores were SF-12 PCS: 43.4 (SD 10.5), SF-12 MCS: 47.0 (SD 11.2) and ADDQoL: -1.6 (SD 1.6). In adjusted models including all six PoC simultaneously, receipt of influenza vaccine was associated with lower ADDQoL (β=-0.4, p≤0.01) and foot examination was negatively associated with SF-12 PCS (β=-1.8, p≤0.05). There was no association or trend towards a negative association when these PoC were reported as combined measures. PACIC score was associated only with the SF-12 MCS (β=1.6, p≤0.05).


PoC for diabetes did not show a consistent association with HRQoL in a cross-sectional analysis. This may represent an effect lag time between time of process received and health-related quality of life. Further research is needed to study this complex phenomenon.

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