BACKGROUND: Current evidence suggests that the information needs of people with diabetes mellitus differ across patient groups. With a view to being able to provide individualized information, this study aims to identify (i) the diabetes-related information needs of people with diabetes mellitus; (ii) different subgroups of people with specific information needs; and (iii) associated characteristics of the identified subgroups, such as sociodemographic characteristics, diabetes-related comorbidities, and well-being. METHODS: This cross-sectional study was based on data from 837 respondents with diabetes mellitus who participated in the population-based KORA (Cooperative Health Research in the Augsburg Region) Health Survey 2016 in Southern Germany (KORA GEFU 4 study) (45.6% female, mean age 71.1 years, 92.8% Type 2 diabetes). Diabetes-related information needs were assessed with a questionnaire asking about patients' information needs concerning 11 diabetes-related topics, e.g. 'long-term complications' and 'treatment/therapy'. Subgroups of people with different information needs and associated characteristics were identified using latent class analysis. RESULTS: We identified the following four classes of people with different information needs: 'high needs on all topics', 'low needs on all topics', 'moderate needs with a focus on complications and diabetes in everyday life', and 'advanced needs with a focus on social and legal aspects and diabetes research'. The classes differed significantly in age, years of education, type of diabetes, diabetes duration, diabetes-related comorbidities, smoking behaviour, diabetes education, current level of information, and time preference. CONCLUSIONS: Knowledge about different patient subgroups can be useful for tailored information campaigns or physician-patient interactions. Further research is needed to analyse health care needs in these groups, changes in information needs over the course of the disease, and prospective health outcomes.
GrantsProjekt DEAL German Federal Ministry of Education and Research as part of the 'Health in old age' program State of Bavaria Helmholtz Zentrum Munchen -German Research Center for Environmental Health - German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) Federal Centre for Health Education (BZgA) on behalf of the German Federal Ministry of Health