Diabetes type 2 patients need better home blood glucose monitoring advice

Diabetes type 2 patients need better home blood glucose monitoring advice

According to a new study, patients with diabetes type 2 need better home blood glucose monitoring advice. You can read about this in the latest issue of the British Medical Journal (BMJ).

Type 2 diabetes generally does not require injections. The patient can be treated with dietary measures, along with a weight reduction programme and oral medications. Diabetes type 2 usually develops in patients over 40, and is more common if the person is overweight.

While some experts advocate the use of daily self monitoring of blood glucose levels, other say it is complex and inconvenient, leading to feelings of frustration and shame. So far, there seems to be no consensus among experts about the role and value of self monitoring.

Therefore, Dr. Elizabeth Peel and team spoke to 18 newly diagnosed diabetes type 2 patients over a period of four years. The aim was to find out what they thought about self-monitoring over that period.

Unsurprisingly, they found that as time went by the self monitoring was either discontinued or happened less regularly. Some of the participants were not too sure how to interpret the test results and what to do about them, while others said they found it reassuring. A consistent problem was what to do about high readings.

The majority of the participants wondered whether health professionals placed a high value on their readings, saying that doctors seemed little interested in their self-monitored test results after the initial phase. Some patients regarded this as a sign that self-monitoring was either pointless or unimportant. A number of them continued self-monitoring because they themselves wanted to, even though doctors seemed to give the impression that it did not matter.

"Clinical uncertainty about the role of self monitoring in patients with type 2 diabetes is mirrored in patients' own accounts," the researchers said. Patients' actions tended not to be influenced by their readings' results - probably because they had not been told what to do.

The writers urge doctors to be clear about whether patients should self monitor, and if so, how to interpret and act on the result, especially if there is a high reading (high blood glucose detected).

"Self monitoring of blood glucose in type 2 diabetes: longitudinal qualitative study of patients' perspectives"

BMJ Online First


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