Assessing quality of life of Palestinian diabetic patients; refugees and non-refugees : UNRWA and MOH health centers attendants


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Høgskolen i Oslo og Akershus. Fakultet for samfunnsfag

Document type


Master in International Social Welfare and Health Policy


Background: Diabetes Mellitus (DM) negatively affects quality of life (QOL). QOL of diabetic patients has not been reported previously. However, previous international studies have shown that QOL is related to socioeconomic status (SES) as well as to other factors including provision of health care. The purpose of this study was to assess the impact of DM on the health-related quality of life (HRQOL) of diabetic patients. Material/Methods: A sample of 140 diabetic patients (100 refugees and 40 non-refugees) treated in Ministry of Health (MOH) & United Nations Relief and Work Agency (UNRWA) health facilities were recruited. Participants were given the World Health Organization quality of life questionnaire-short version (WHOQOL-BREF). HRQOLs were acquired to assess QOL domains that included physical and psychological health, social relationships, and environmental domains. Means, standard deviations, and statistical tests for differences were performed to compare between HRQOL and socio-demographic and health-related factors, (gender; age; education; employment, income, refugee status and marital status; duration of the disease; treatment method; complications). Results: The result revealed that gender had no significant impact on HRQOL. Non-refugees had lower scores than refugees in all domains of QOL. Low SES had a strong negative impact on HRQOL of diabetic patients. The impact of DM on HRQOL was especially severe among older subjects (above 60 years). Patients who were on oral hypoglycemic agents (OHAs) only had a better HRQOL than who were on insulin, but this difference did not reach the significant level. Longer duration of DM (> 10 years), and presence of one or more DM complications had strong negative impact on HRQOL than diabetic people who had no or less DM complications. Conclusions: This study shows diabetes impacts the lives of diabetic patients in multiple areas. DM disease has negative impact on HRQOL. HRQOL is strongly reduced among non-refugees diabetics attended MOH clinic than refugees diabetics who attended UNRWA clinic. Thus, health care providers, particularly MOH health care providers must address its social consequences.


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