Introduction: The COVID-19 pandemic had a significant emotional and psychological impact on populations worldwide, especially vulnerable people with chronic diseases such as diabetics. The objective of our study was to assess the quality of life and psychological distress of diabetic patients and to study patients attitudes towards managing their diabetes.
Methods: We conducted a cross sectional descriptive study involving 60 diabetic patients followed in Endocrinology-Nutrition department of the Military Hospital of Tunis during the period between February and March 2021. We used the short form questionnaire SF-12 to assess quality of life of participants, allowing us to calculate two scores; mental component score (MCS) and physical component score (PCS) with a total score ranging from 0 to 100. A higher score indicates a better health. We also used Kessler psychological distress scale (K10) with a total score ranging from 0 to 40. Low scores indicate low levels of psychological distress while high scores indicate high levels of psychological distress. Mean level of worry was assessed using a scale from 0 to 10.
Results: Our population was predominantly female (sex ratio=0.8). The average age was 52.4 years. Our patients were suffering from two or more chronic diseases in 78.4% of cases. The mean duration of diabetes was 11 years with an average HbA1c of 8.9%. The mean level of worry was 4.8. The mainly subjects of worries concerned the shortage of anti-diabetic drugs and monitoring equipment (78.3% and 71.7% respectively), the notion of high risk population (75%) and the potential severity of the infection in diabetics (73.3%). Patients were more observant for their treatment and in monitoring their glycemia in respectively 45% and 38.3% of cases. Nevertheless, physical activity was reduced in 36.7% and food intake increased in 26.7% of cases. MCS and PCS were 39 ±10.4 and 37.4±9.3, respectively. The mean K10 score was 12.9±8.8. In univariate analysis, MCS, PCS and K10 were significantly associated with gender (P = 0.03; 0.009 and 0.005 respectively). PCS was associated with age (P = 0.025).
Conclusion: The quality of life of diabetic persons is impaired. This involves the implementation of a monitoring, follow-up and support strategy by the health system for these patients.
21 May 2022 - 24 May 2022