This study describes the impact of diabetes and the meaning of health-related quality of life (HRQOL) for 22 male and female patients in Korea. Open-ended interviews yielded six HRQOL themes: health, overall well-being, harmonious relationships and family responsibilities, a rewarding life, spiritual life, and material support. The physical impact of diabetes included decreased energy, limitations, and physical suffering; while its psychological/spiritual impact extended to general stress, helplessness, fear, depression, anger, and relationship with God. Like Americans, Koreans valued health, psychological well-being and interpersonal support. In addition, the Koreans valued smooth, harmonious interpersonal relationships, overall well-being pertaining to living a comfortable and honorable life.
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This study was supported in part by the School of Nursing of Seoul National University, and the University of California Los Angeles Institute of American Cultures. We wish to thank the Korean patients who participated in this study for sharing their thoughts with us.
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