Generic, preference-based measures of health-related quality of life (HRQoL) are a common input to the economic evaluation of new health technologies. As such, it is important to explore what characteristics of patients with Type 1 diabetes might impact scores on such measures.
This study utilizes baseline data from a cluster-randomized trial that recruited patients with Type 1 diabetes at six centers across Ireland. Health-related quality of life was assessed using the three-level EuroQol EQ-5D (EQ-5D) measure. Patients' responses to individual dimensions of the EQ-5D were explored. To see which patient factors influenced EQ-5D scores, multivariate regression analysis was conducted with EQ-5D scores as the outcome variable.
Data was available for 437 Type 1 diabetes patients. The median age of these patients was 40 (IQR: 31-49) years and 53.8% were female. Overall, patients reported a high HRQoL based on EQ-5D scores (0.87 (SD: 0.19). Fifty-four percent of patients reported a perfect HRQoL. For those that reported problems, the most common dimension was the anxiety/depression dimension of the EQ-5D (29.6%). In the multivariate regression analysis, self-reported mental illness (- 0.22 (95% CI: -0.34, - 0.10)) and being unemployed (- 0.07 (95% CI: -0.13, - 0.02)) were negatively associated with EQ-5D scores (p < 0.05). The influence of self-reported mental illness was persistent in sensitivity analyses.
The study results indicate that patients with Type 1 diabetes report a high HRQoL based on responses to the EQ-5D. However, there are a substantial number of Type 1 diabetes patients that report problems in the anxiety/depression dimension, which may provide avenues to improve patients' HRQoL.