Part of the study was presented as an abstract at the annual congress of the British Small Animal Veterinary Association 2009, Birmingham, UK
Evaluation of a Quality-of-Life Tool for Dogs with Diabetes Mellitus
Article first published online: 31 MAY 2012
Copyright © 2012 by the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Volume 26, Issue 4, pages 953–961, July-August 2012
How to Cite
Niessen, S.J.M., Powney, S., Guitian, J., Niessen, A.P.M., Pion, P.D., Shaw, J.A.M. and Church, D.B. (2012), Evaluation of a Quality-of-Life Tool for Dogs with Diabetes Mellitus. Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine, 26: 953–961. doi: 10.1111/j.1939-1676.2012.00947.x
- Issue published online: 13 JUL 2012
- Article first published online: 31 MAY 2012
- Manuscript Accepted: 18 APR 2012
- Manuscript Revised: 11 APR 2012
- Manuscript Received: 11 JAN 2012
Diabetes mellitus (DM) management primarily focuses on improvement in blood glucose concentrations and clinical signs. A tool to assess the psychological and social impact of DM and its treatment on quality of life (QoL) previously has only been validated for feline DM.
To validate a diabetic pet and owner-centered individualized measure of impact of DM (DIAQoL-pet) for diabetic dogs and their owners.
A total of 101 owners of insulin-treated diabetic dogs were recruited to complete the DIAQoL-pet.
Discussions and pilot surveys with clinicians and owners of diabetic pets led to the design of 29 specific DM-associated QoL questions. Each item was scored according to impact frequency and perceived importance. An Item-Weighted-Impact-Score (IWIS) for each item was calculated, as was an Average-Weighted-Impact-Score (AWIS) by averaging all IWISs. Principal component analysis and Cronbach's α calculation assessed the measure's reliability.
The DIAQoL-pet showed high reliability (Communalities ≥0.5; Cronbach's α 0.85). The AWIS was −2.74 ± 1.7 (mean ± SD). Areas reported as most negatively impacting QoL included: “worry” (IWIS ± SD: −5.92 ± 4.3), “difficulties leaving dog with friends or family” (−5.68 ± 5.1), “worry vision” (−5.58 ± 4.6), “boarding difficulties” (−5.18 ± 5.2), “worry hypoglycemia” (−4.95 ± 4.3), “social life” (−4.82 ± 4.4), “costs” (−4.11 ± 4.7), and “future care”(−4.07 ± 4.6). Eighty-four percent of owners reported negative impact of DM on QoL.
Conclusions and Clinical Importance
The DIAQoL-pet proved robust when used by owners of insulin-treated diabetic dogs and identified specific areas most negatively impacting dogs' and their owners' QoL. This tool could be used as an additional assessment parameter in clinical and research settings.