Blood glucose self-monitoring in non-insulin-treated type 2 diabetes:a qualitative study of patients' perspectives


Background: Self-monitoring of blood glucose is controversial in the management of type 2 diabetes. Some research suggests that self-monitoring improves glycaemic control, whereas other research is sceptical about its value for people with type 2 diabetes who are not on insulin. Although blood glucose meters are widely available and used by this group, patients' own views are absent from the debate. Aim: To explore the pros and cons of glucose monitoring from the patients' perspectives. Design of study: Qualitative repeat-interview study. Setting: Patients were recruited from 16 general practices and three hospital clinics within four local healthcare cooperatives in Lothian, Scotland. Method: Interview data from 40 patients diagnosed with type 2 diabetes within the previous 6 months were analysed using thematic analysis informed by grounded theory. We report findings from round 1 and round 2 interviews. Results: Glucose monitoring can heighten patients' awareness of the impact of lifestyle; for example, dietary choices, on blood glucose levels. Glucose monitoring amplifies a sense of 'success' or 'failure' about self-management, often resulting in anxiety and self-blame if glucose readings remain consistently high. Moreover, monitoring can negatively effect patients' self-management when readings are counter-intuitive. Conclusion: Our analysis highlights the importance of understanding the meanings that newly diagnosed patients attach to glucose self-monitoring. To maximise the positive effects of self-monitoring, health professionals should ensure that patients understand the purpose of monitoring and should clarify with patients how readings should be interpreted. © British Journal of General Practice.

Divisions: Life & Health Sciences > Psychology
Life & Health Sciences
Life & Health Sciences > Chronic and Communicable Conditions
Uncontrolled Keywords: blood glucose,blood glucose self-monitoring,glucose testing,patient education,qualitative study,type 2 diabetes mellitus,Medicine(all)
Full Text Link: http://www.ncbi ... les/PMC1314828/
Related URLs: http://www.scop ... tnerID=8YFLogxK (Scopus URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2004-03
Authors: Peel, Elizabeth A.
Parry, Odette
Douglas, Margaret
Lawton, Julia

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