Adults with insulin-treated type 2 diabetes (T2D) conduct self-monitoring of blood glucose (SMBG) less frequently than those with type 1 diabetes (T1D). We explored reasons for, and beliefs about, SMBG among Australian adults with T1D and insulin-treated T2D.
Eligible participants of the ‘YourSAY (Self-management and You): Glucose Monitoring’ national online survey were Australian adults (aged 18-70 years) with insulin-treated diabetes, not using continuous glucose monitoring. Participants completed study-specific items about daily frequency of, reasons for and beliefs about SMBG. Responses were compared by diabetes type, controlling for daily number of insulin injections/boluses and insulin delivery (injections/pump). Results considered significant at p<.05.
704 Australians participated: 592 with T1D (64% women, mean±SD age 44±15 years, diabetes duration 22±14 years, 5±1 insulin injections/boluses/day, 42% pump therapy) and 112 with insulin-treated T2D (61% women, age 54±11 years, diabetes duration 16±12 years, 3±2 injections/day). Mean±SD daily SMBG differed: T1D=6±3, T2D=3±3. Participants with T1D were more likely, than those with T2D, to report their reasons for SMBG as: avoid high/low glucose levels, adjust insulin, exercise safely, and eat as they wish; while those with T2D were more likely to report monitoring because their health professional recommends it. Both groups reported equivalent endorsement that SMBG is important, helps them feel “in control”, achieve HbA1c goals and prevent diabetes-related complications. However, participants with T1D were more likely than those with T2D to endorse that SMBG provides useful information that they understand and know how to act upon.
Self-reported frequency of, reasons for and perceptions of SMBG varied between groups. Adults with T1D appear better informed, knowing why to check and how to act upon glucose results. Australians with insulin-treated T2D rely more on health professional-led management than those with T1D, even when accounting for intensity of insulin regimen.
The YourSAY study was funded by Abbott Diabetes Care.