Introduction: Type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) is a chronic disease requiring complex management including blood glucose monitoring, insulin administration along with diet restrictions which can have a negative impact on the quality of life (QoL) of children.
Objective: To assess the quality of life and factors affecting it in Indian children with T1DM.
Materials and methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted on 97 children (4–15 years) with T1DM diagnosed for at least 6 months, at the pediatric diabetes clinic of a tertiary care hospital. QoL was assessed using the “quality of life instrument in Indian diabetics” (QOLID) questionnaire. The further co-relation between the QOLID scores and various demographic and diabetes-related factors were studied.
Results: There was suboptimal glycemic control (HbA1c > 7.5%) in 76% of our patients. The mean total QOLID score was 84.5% which was significantly low in specific domains like general health (71%), diet satisfaction (74%) and financial worries (75%). Eighteen percent (18%) of patients had overall impaired QoL (total QOLID score <80%), highest seen in the domain of general health (72%). There was a strong negative correlation between the total QOLID score and variables like number of hyperglycemic episodes per month (r = −0.3, p = 0.001), the total number of hospitalizations (r = −0.34, p = 0.001) and HbA1c value over last 6 months (r = −0.38, p = 0.0001)
Conclusion: As assessed by QOLID questionnaire, impaired QoL was seen in 18% of Indian children with T1DM. Poor glycemic control and an increased number of hospitalizations were the two most important factors leading to poor QoL.
Clinical significance: The overall outcome of diabetes in children can be improved by improving their QoL which further depends on good glycemic control.
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