13 August 2013
Though several questionnaires on self-care and regimen adherence have been introduced, the evaluations do not always report consistent and substantial correlations with measures of glycaemic control. Small ability to explain variance in HbA 1c constitutes a significant limitation of an instrument’s use for scientific purposes as well as clinical practice. In order to assess self-care activities which can predict glycaemic control, the Diabetes Self-Management Questionnaire (DSMQ) was designed.
A 16 item questionnaire to assess self-care activities associated with glycaemic control was developed, based on theoretical considerations and a process of empirical improvements. Four subscales, ‘Glucose Management’ (GM), ‘Dietary Control’ (DC), ‘Physical Activity’ (PA), and ‘Health-Care Use’ (HU), as well as a ‘Sum Scale’ (SS) as a global measure of self-care were derived. To evaluate its psychometric quality, 261 patients with type 1 or 2 diabetes were assessed with the DSMQ and an established analogous scale, the Summary of Diabetes Self-Care Activities Measure (SDSCA). The DSMQ’s item and scale characteristics as well as factorial and convergent validity were analysed, and its convergence with HbA 1c was compared to the SDSCA.
The items showed appropriate characteristics (mean item-total-correlation: 0.46 ± 0.12; mean correlation with HbA 1c: -0.23 ± 0.09). Overall internal consistency (Cronbach’s alpha) was good (0.84), consistencies of the subscales were acceptable (GM: 0.77; DC: 0.77; PA: 0.76; HU: 0.60). Principal component analysis indicated a four factor structure and confirmed the designed scale structure. Confirmatory factor analysis indicated appropriate fit of the four factor model. The DSMQ scales showed significant convergent correlations with their parallel SDSCA scales (GM: 0.57; DC: 0.52; PA: 0.58; HU: n/a; SS: 0.57) and HbA 1c (GM: -0.39; DC: -0.30; PA: -0.15; HU: -0.22; SS: -0.40). All correlations with HbA 1c were significantly stronger than those obtained with the SDSCA.
This study provides preliminary evidence that the DSMQ is a reliable and valid instrument and enables an efficient assessment of self-care behaviours associated with glycaemic control. The questionnaire should be valuable for scientific analyses as well as clinical use in both type 1 and type 2 diabetes patients.