To gain more insight into perceived barriers in the self-management of insulin-treated diabetic patients, a cross-sectional study was conducted at our outpatient clinic. The Barriers in Diabetes Questionnaire (BDQ), consisting of three subscales, was completed by 240 patients (type I and II). Additional background information and medical data were gathered. Mean BDQ scores indicated that most barriers relate to 'self-regulation in specific situations'. No significant relationships were found between BDQ subscale-scores on the one hand and age, sex, educational level, type or duration of diabetes on the other. Patients with a higher HbAlc showed significantly higher scores on two of the three subscales. A significant negative correlation was found between patients' subjective evaluation of their health status and their BDQ-scores. It is concluded that the BDQ can be a valuable assessment tool for health care providers to tailor diabetes education and care to the patients' individual needs.