What's behind our diabetes survey?

We asked 5,000 people with the disease what worked for them

Published: November 2009

In May 2009, 5,012 people with type 2 diabetes took an online survey designed by the Consumer Reports National Research Center. The results provide a patient's perspective on the day-to-day management of the condition. The information collected in this diabetes survey can help people trying to manage the disease as well as those caring for people with it and those trying to prevent it.

What did we ask?
We asked people with type 2 diabetes about their experiences with health-care providers, diet and exercise strategies, disease complications, and the costs associated with managing the disease. Survey participants indicated how successful they had been in managing the condition (very successful, somewhat successful, not very successful, or not successful at all), allowing us to identify the factors associated with success. We confirmed this self-rated measure of success by comparing it with objective measures, such as blood glucose levels.

How does the information from this diabetes survey compare with what was previously known about type 2 diabetes?
Our diabetes survey was designed to complement and augment current scientific knowledge. For example, it provided a unique insight into the experiences that respondents had with different kinds of health-care providers. They told us which types of providers they saw and how those professionals handled various aspects of treatment, such as their ability to help patients understand diabetes and its management, recognize symptoms requiring medical attention, learn proper diet and nutrition, and minimize pain, discomfort, or disability. The findings helped identify the providers who excelled in particular areas.

Survey results also confirmed and added to previous research. For example, while research has found that losing weight is important, our diabetes survey helped identify the strategies that were particularly important to respondents (portion control, reducing calorie intake, and increasing activity level). This type of insight comes from consumers who know what living with diabetes is really like.

See our complete guide to preventing and treating diabetes.


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