The effects of interventions on health-related quality of life among persons with diabetes: A systematic review

Xuanping Zhang, Susan L. Norris, Farah M. Chowdhury, Edward W. Gregg, Ping Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Health-related quality of life (HRQL) is increasingly used to measure the outcomes of interventions among people with chronic diseases. OBJECTIVES: To assess the effect of interventions for adults with diabetes on HRQL, as measured by the Short Form (SF)-36 questionnaire. RESEARCH DESIGN: The systematic review was conducted using the methods of the Cochrane Collaboration. Studies reporting SF-36 scores before and after an intervention focused on adults with diabetes were obtained from searches of multiple bibliographic databases. The mean changes and standardized mean differences between pre- and post-intervention were reported as outcome measures. Pooled estimates were obtained using random effects models. RESULTS: We identified 33 studies examining a wide range of interventions, including diabetes education and behavioral modifications (15 studies), pharmacotherapy (11 studies), and surgery (7 studies). Interventions generally demonstrated improvement in HRQL. When all available profile scores were examined together, the ranges of mean changes in scores were as follows: surgery for treating diabetes comorbidities, 15.0 to 42.0 point improvement; surgery for treating diabetes complications, -13.0 to 37.9; pharmacotherapy using insulin to optimize glycemic control, -4.6 to 27.6; pharmacotherapy for treating comorbidities, 3.8 to 33.2; pharmacotherapy for treating complications, -2.6 to 14.6. Pooled effects from 5 randomized controlled trials of educational interventions demonstrated significantly improved physical function [3.4 (95% CI, 0.1-6.6)] and mental health [4.2 (95% CI, 1.8-6.6)], and a decrease in bodily pain [3.6 (95% CI, 0.6-6.7)]. CONCLUSIONS: A variety of interventions can improve HRQL among adults with diabetes, but the magnitude of effects varied with the interventions. The mechanism of these changes needs to be further examined in the future research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)820-834
Number of pages15
JournalMedical care
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Diabetes
  • Health-related quality of life
  • Intervention
  • SF-36

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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