Developing a questionnaire to determine the impact of self-management in diabetes: giving people with diabetes a voice

J Carlton, J Elliott, D Rowen, K Stevens, H Basarir, K Meadows, J Brazier


The prevalence of diabetes mellitus (DM) is increasing dramatically, placing considerable financial burden on the healthcare budget of each country. Patient self-management is crucial for the control of blood glucose, which largely determines the chances of developing diabetes-related complications. Self-management interventions vary widely, and a method is required for assessing the impact of self-management. This paper describes the development of a questionnaire intended for use to measure the impact of self-management in diabetes.

An iterative development process was undertaken to identify the attributes of self-management using 5 steps. First, a literature review was undertaken to identify and understand themes relating to self-management of DM to inform a topic guide. Second, the topic guide was further refined following consultation with a Patient and Public Involvement group. Third, the topic guide was used to inform semi-structured interviews with patients with DM to identify how self-management of DM affects individuals. Fourth, the research team considered potential attributes alongside health attributes from an existing measure (Diabetes Health Profile, DHP) to produce an instrument reflecting both health and self-management outcomes simultaneously. Finally, a draft instrument was tested in a focus group to determine the wording and acceptability.

Semi-structured interviews were carried out with 32 patients. Eight potential attributes were identified: fear/worry/anxiety, guilt, stress, stigma, hassle, control, freedom, and feeling supported. Four of these self-management attributes were selected with four health attributes (mood, worry about hypos (hypoglycaemic episodes), vitality and social limitations) to produce the Health and Self-Management in Diabetes (HASMID v1) questionnaire.

HASMID v1 is a short questionnaire that contains eight items each with four response levels. The measure was developed using a mixed-methods approach that involved semi-structured interviews with people with diabetes. The measure has high face validity. Ongoing research is being undertaken to assess the validity of this questionnaire for measuring the impact of self-management interventions in economic evaluation.