The health care for diabetic persons in Italy: the QUADRI survey

Marina Maggini, Valerio Aprile, Sandro Baldissera, Angelo D’Argenzio, Salvatore Lopresti, Oscar Mingozzi, Salvo Scondotto, Nancy Binkin, Angela Giusti, Alberto Perra, Bruno Caffari



To obtain regional and national data on the quality of diabetes care within the Italian National Health Service, a national survey among persons with diabetes was conducted in 2004. A sample of 3,426 diabetic patients (age 18-64 years) were interviewed using a standardized questionnaire. The population was middle-aged (median age 57 years), had a low educational level, and was followed primarily in public diabetes centres. A total of 54% reported having hypertension but 14% were not on treatment; for hypercholesterolemia, the corresponding figures were 44% and 26%. Of the 72% who were overweight or obese, 51% were trying to lose weight; 26% currently smoked. Only 66% of patients had undergone haemoglobin A1c testing in the past four months (among the 67% who had ever heard of test); 30% suffered from microvascular or macrovascular complications. Only 5% received all eight main tests recommended by the guidelines within the specified intervals. Our study demonstrates that diabetic patients receive less than optimal care, they are engaged in unhealthy behaviours and received inadequate treatment for comorbidities, and that the translation of guidelines into clinical practice was unsatisfactory. These data have been used to formulate national and regional policy regarding integrated case management to improve the quality of diabetes care.


Diabetes mellitus; Italy; Prevention; Quality of health care

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