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Diabetes-Specific Quality-of-Life Scale


U. Bott, I. Muhlhauser, H. Overmann, M. Berger (1998)

Background and Development:

The DSQOLS was developed from a population of 684 patients with Type 1 diabetes in Northrhine, Germany. This 64-item self-administered instrument takes about 20 minutes to complete and contains sections on individual treatment goals (10 items), satisfaction with treatment success (10 items), and defines six components measuring the burden of diabetes care and management (44 items): Social Relations, Physical Complaints, Worries about the Future, Leisure Time, Diet Restrictions, and Treatment Satisfaction. Factor analysis to measure the internal reliability of the treatment satisfaction score resulted in Cronbach’s alpha of 0.77. Cronbach’s alpha ranged from 0.70 to 0.88 for the six components of burden. As a measure of validity, statistical correlations were calculated between the 6 burden measurements, the Treatment Satisfaction Score, and an independent Positive Well Being Scale (Bradley and Lewis 1990). These inter-correlations (28 total) were all highly significant (p<0.001) with r values ranging from 0.30 to 0.66. The correlation of the Treatment Satisfaction Score with the Positive Well Being Scale was 0.43. The authors state that this instrument contains the sensitivity to distinguish the relative effectiveness of different treatment and dietary regimens.

Assessment in Elderly Populations:

Validity and reliability of the DSQOLS has not been investigated for elderly populations.

Assessment in Minority Populations:

No studies involving minority populations have been conducted.

Subsequent Studies:

Bott et al. (2000) used the tool to help evaluate the effectiveness of a treatment and teaching program for diabetics.

Design Strengths and Weaknesses:

In a review of health outcome measures for diabetes Garratt et al. (2002) state that this instrument has good evidence for reliability, and internal and external construct validity. The questionnaire is specific to individuals with Type 1 Diabetes. However, the analyses of reliability and validity were conducted on the original German-language questionnaire. The English-language questionnaire reproduced in Bott et al. (1998) was not statistically analyzed by the original authors. No information regarding the racial or economic distribution of the subject population is provided. The instrument has been tested in only the general Type 1 diabetic population of the Northrhine region of Germany. No studies involving minority or elderly populations have been conducted.

Contact Information:

This measurement tool, along with factor loadings for the 44 items regarding daily restrictions and burden, is available in English as an appendix to the publication by Bott et al. (1998).


Bott, U., I. Mühlhauser, H. Overmann, M. Berger (1998) Validation of a Diabetes-Specific Quality-of-Life Scale for patients with type 1 diabetes. Diabetes Care, 21(5), 757-769.

Bott U., S. Bott, D. Hemmann, M. Berger (2000) Evaluation of a holistic treatment and teaching programme for patients with Type 1 diabetes who failed to achieve their therapeutic goals under intensified insulin therapy. Diabet. Med., 17(9), 635-643.

Garratt, A.M., L. Schmidt, and R. Fitzpatrick (2002) Patient-assessed health outcome measures for diabetes: a structured review. Diabetic Med., 19, 1-11.

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