Academic journal article Indian Journal of Positive Psychology

Quality of Life among Diabetic and Asthmatic Patients: A Comparative Study

Academic journal article Indian Journal of Positive Psychology

Quality of Life among Diabetic and Asthmatic Patients: A Comparative Study

Article excerpt

The two most common chronic diseases worldwide are diabetes and asthma. It is a major public health concern in developing countries (Azevedo & Alla, 2008). The global prevalence of diabetes and asthma is 285 million and 300 million respectively and this number is predicted to double by the year 2025; with the greatest number of cases being expected in China and India (WHO, 1997).

Diabetes is now seen as a heterogeneous group of disorders whose only common factor is hyperglycemia, whereas Asthma on other hand is a more severe allergic reaction, which can be caused by a variety of foreign substance, including dust, dog or cat dander, pollens and fungi. Diabetics and Asthmatics were chosen for comparison because both are chronic conditions and having a psychosomatic origin, caused by emotional stress (Menninger, 1935; Dunbar, 1936).

What is now recognized is that diabetes and asthma is a chronic conditions, like other chronic medical conditions, they constitute a source of stress to sufferers and, as such, affect their quality oflife. An estimated 300 million people worldwide suffer from asthma, with 250,000 annual deaths attributed to the disease (WHO, 2007).

Asthma affects a significant portion of the population, mainly children and adolescents, with high social and economic costs. The multi centric study International Study for Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISAAC, 1998) conducted in 56 countries, showed a variability in the prevalence of active asthma from 1.6 to 36.8%, and Brazil was ranked 8th with a mean prevalence of 20%. Studying the Brazilian adolescent population in the ISAAC - Phase 3, Sole et al. 2006 found a mean prevalence of 19% of active asthma symptoms.

Quality oflife in patients with chronic diseases, mainly asthma, is increasingly being the focus of research. The World Health Organization-Quality of Life Group (WHOQOL) established that QoL is the individuals perception of their position in life in the context of the culture and value systems in which they live and in relation to their goals, expectations, standards and concerns. It is a broad concept influenced in a complex manner by physical health, psychological state, independence level, social relations, and relations with the characteristics of the environment where the individuals live. The measures of assessment of asthma morbidity, such as symptoms, physiological measures, medications, and use of health care services demonstrate only part of the morbidity picture of asthma, since they do not inform how patients feel in their daily living. Quality of life questionnaires may be useful for that purpose and they also make it possible to validate other measures of asthma morbidity.

A study done by Robert et al. (2004) aimed to assess the prevalence of diabetes and depression and their associations with quality of life using a representative population sample. The study consisted of a representative population sample of individuals aged >15 years living in South Australia comprising 3,010 personal interviews conducted by trained health interviewers. The prevalence of depression in those suffering doctor-diagnosed diabetes and comparative effects of diabetic status and depression on quality-of-life dimensions were measured. The results showed that the prevalence of depression in the diabetic population was 24% compared with 17% in the nondiabetic population. Those with diabetes and depression experienced an impact with a large effect size on every dimension of the Short Form Health-Related Quality-of-Life Questionnaire (SF-36) as compared with those who suffered diabetes and who were not depressed. A supplementary analysis comparing both depressed diabetic and depressed nondiabetic groups showed there were statistically significant differences in the quality-of-life effects between the two depressed populations in the physical and mental component summaries of the SF-36. It was concluded that depression for those with diabetes is an important comorbidity that requires careful management because of its severe impact on quality oflife. …

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