Scand J Caring Sci; 2011; 25; 688–695
Type 2 diabetes: perceptions of quality of life and attitudes towards diabetes from a gender perspective
Objective: To compare obese and normal-weight people with type 2 diabetes (T2DM), with a focus on their attitudes towards the disease, quality of life (QoL) and treatment from a gender perspective.
Methods: Two hundred and eighty-seven people with T2DM participated in a cross-sectional study. Health-related quality of life (HRQL) data from the Medical Outcomes Short Form Study 36 (SF 36), Well-Being Questionnaire (W-BQ12), Diabetes Attitude Scale (DAS) and Diabetes Treatment Satisfaction Questionnaire (DTSQs) were used. The results are presented descriptively. The Mann–Whitney U-test was conducted to examine differences between normal-weight and obese diabetics and between women and men.
Results: The results of this study show that there was a gender difference in the perception of QoL; obese females with diabetes experienced more limitations in daily life due to physical and emotional problems than obese males with diabetes. Obese men had reduced physical and vitality scores compared to normal-weight individuals. Compared to normal-weight females with diabetes, obese women had lower vitality scores, more body pain and more severe physical impacts. The negative emotional impact for obese females with diabetes was also demonstrated by the results of the W-BQ12 questionnaire. Obese females with diabetes felt that the disease was more overwhelming and difficult to handle in comparison to obese males with diabetes. There was no difference between the groups in terms of how they experienced treatment.
Conclusion: There was a gender difference in the perceptions of QoL of people with T2DM. There was also a difference between the QoL of obese and normal-weight people with T2DM, as the obese may suffer from underlying depression. Further investigations are needed for health professionals to be able to meet the unique needs of each specific diabetic group.