Background: Self-monitoring of blood glucose (SMBG) has been routinely recommended as part of diabetes management. There is evidence that SMBG does not clinically improve glycaemic control in all patients with non-insulin treated type 2 diabetes (NITT2DM).
Aim: To inform our understanding of the factors that influence Australian Health Care Professionals (HCP’s) perceived value of SMBG for patients with NITT2DM and to review the evidence for SMBG analysing social, political and economic trends.
Method: Qualitative semi-structured interviews were undertaken with 25 Australian HCPs from different professional backgrounds to obtain insight into their beliefs and practices relating to SMBG in patients with NITT2DM.
Results: (1) The perceived value of SMBG varies within and between health professional groups; (2) Information patients receive about SMBG is limited; (3) SMBG is not a benign activity; (4) HCPs most likely to use the results in a purposeful manner are diabetes educators and dietitians; (5) Specialised education for patients is limited; (6) HCP training does not address SMBG; (7) HCPs want impartial information about SMBG.
Conclusions: The views of HCPs are varied and largely based on inconsistent information and training. Inconsistent recommendations to patients contribute to adverse health care outcomes and rising health care costs.