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Keywords:

  • Insulin;
  • islets;
  • quality of life;
  • transplantation

This study analyzed quality of life in patients with type 1 diabetes that received islet transplantation. Twenty-three subjects were followed over 3 years. In addition to an interview, patients self-completed two standardized psychometric questionnaires, HSQ 2.0 and DQOL, before and after transplant, and scores were compared. Analysis was also adjusted for potential “confounders” such as graft dysfunction, insulin therapy and adverse events. DQOL: the Impact score significantly improved at all time points of the follow-up; satisfaction and worry scales also significantly improved at selected time points. Longitudinal analysis demonstrated that reintroduction of insulin had a negative effect on all three scales, but significant improvement in Impact scale persisted even after adjusting for this factor. HSQ 2.0: only the Health Perception scale preliminarily showed significant improvement at most time points. Longitudinal analysis showed loss of significance when insulin therapy was considered. Other scores were improved only at selected time points or not affected. Bodily pain scale showed deterioration at selected times. Interview: glucose control stability, not insulin independence, was reported as the main beneficial factor influencing QOL. In conclusion, islet transplantation has a positive influence on patients' QOL, despite chronic immunosuppression side effects. Re-introduction of insulin modifies QOL outcomes.