Comparing assessment of diabetes-related quality of life between patients and their physicians

Orly Tamir, Nitzan Shabo De-Paz, David Dvir, Anthony D. Heymann*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Health-related quality of life (QoL) is a comprehensive, multidimensional construct encompassing physical and psychosocial wellbeing. Physicians frequently assess QoL as part of their decision making process without specifically asking their patients. This study examined the degree and predictors of concordance between physician and patient assessments of QoL among patients with diabetes in primary care and in multi-disciplinary diabetes clinics. Methods: Patients completed a questionnaire regarding overall and diabetes-specific QoL before entering their physician's office. After the visit, the physician completed the same questionnaire in order to evaluate how he/she perceived that patient's QoL. In addition, medical data relating to the patient's health status were collected from the medical records. The concordance between patient-reported QoL and physician-estimated QoL was evaluated. Stepwise regression analysis was conducted to determine which factors contributed to the difference between physicians' and patients' assessment of QoL. Results: A total of 136 patients and 39 treating physicians were surveyed. Patients' response rate was 95%. A strong concordance was found between patients' and physicians' ratings of current health status (r = 0.79, p < 0. 01); however, physicians perceived their patients' QoL as worse than the QoL assessed by the patients themselves. Primary care physicians were better at assessing their patients' overall wellbeing while diabetes-specialists were better at assessing their patients' diabetes-specific QoL. In addition, the longer the duration of diabetes, the more difficult is was for the physicians to accurately assess QoL. When entered in the regression analysis, familiarity did not explain physicians' ability to assess health-related QoL or diabetes-specific QoL. Conclusions: Physicians make reasonable assessments of their patients' QoL, however as the patients' disease progresses, it becomes harder for physicians to assess QoL. Primary care physicians are better at assessing overall well-being whereas diabetes specialists are better at assessing diabetes-specific QoL. Trial registration number: Not registered. Assuta Medical Center institutional review board approval number 2009103.

Original languageEnglish
Article number214
JournalHealth and Quality of Life Outcomes
Issue number1
StatePublished - 19 Nov 2018


FundersFunder number
Israel Association of Family Physicians


    • Concordance
    • Patient perception
    • Patient-centered care
    • Quality of life (QoL)
    • Type 2 diabetes


    Dive into the research topics of 'Comparing assessment of diabetes-related quality of life between patients and their physicians'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this