Social Indicators Research

, Volume 76, Issue 2, pp 263–281 | Cite as

Comparing Self-Rated Health, Satisfaction and Quality of Life Scores Between Diabetics and Others Living in The Bella Coola Valley

  • Angela Grigg
  • Harvey V. ThommasenEmail author
  • Hugh Tildesley
  • Alex C. Michalos


Objective: To investigate the relative effect that diabetes has on self-rated health, satisfaction with various specific domains of life, and satisfaction with quality of life operationalized as happiness, satisfaction with life as a whole, and satisfaction with overall quality of life. Design: Mixed methods – mailed survey and chart review. Study Population: All people aged 17 years or older, residing in the Bella Coola Valley in September 2001 and having a chart at the Bella Coola Medical Clinic. Main outcome measures: Self-rated health, self-rated stress, rating of self-care received, global life satisfaction (Life as whole; Overall standard of living; Overall quality of life; and Overall happiness); and satisfaction with various domains of life. Results: A total of 968 useable surveys were returned for a response rate of 56 (968/1734). Age was negatively related to General Health, but positively related to Life Satisfaction. Not being of Aboriginal descent was positively related to all of the four global health indicators and to Subjective Well-Being. After accounting for age, race, and weight, we found that diabetics report significantly poorer self-rated health, and lower satisfaction with health scores compared to people without diabetes. Participants with diabetes who were the least compliant with their treatment regimens rated their current health significantly lower than those who were the most compliant. People with diabetes were, however, no more likely to be unhappy or dissatisfied with their lives as a whole or with the overall quality of their lives compared to people without diabetes. Among people with diabetes, however, those who used insulin did report significantly less satisfaction with the overall quality of their lives than those who didn’t use insulin. Conclusion: Diabetics understand they have poorer health than others, but they do not have poorer global life satisfaction scores. This may explain why it is difficult to get diabetics to adopt behaviours which may lower their quality of life – e.g., diet plans, lose weight, engage in exercise programs, or take medications.


diabetes mellitus quality of life rural health satisfaction 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Angela Grigg
    • 1
  • Harvey V. Thommasen
    • 2
    Email author
  • Hugh Tildesley
    • 3
  • Alex C. Michalos
    • 4
  1. 1.Community Medicine ProgramUniversity of Northern British ColumbiaPrince GeorgeCanada
  2. 2.UBC Faculty of MedicinePrince GeorgeCanada
  3. 3.Department of Medicine, UBC Director of Diabetes Teaching and Training CentreSt Paul’s HospitalVancouverCanada
  4. 4.Institute for Social Research and EvaluationUniversity of Northern British ColumbiaPrince GeorgeCanada

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