JOURNAL ARTICLE

Usage patterns of devices designed to support diabetes management: an educational needs assessment

Richard S Beaser, James E Neighbours, Julie Brown, Katie M Ronk, Walter W Wolyniec
Endocrine Practice 2011, 17 (1): 51-7
20713339

OBJECTIVE: To determine knowledge, competence, and attitudinal issues among diabetes specialists and primary care providers (PCPs) regarding the use of insulin delivery devices such as insulin pens and insulin pumps and the role of glucose monitoring devices and systems in the care of patients with diabetes.

METHODS: A quantitative survey tool was developed that contained 51 questions directed to diabetes specialists and 49 questions directed to PCPs. A 5-point, Likert-type scale or multiple-choice format was used. Data were collected from attendees at live symposia across the United States. Results were analyzed for frequency of response and significant relationships among the variables.

RESULTS: The survey was completed by 136 specialists and 418 PCPs. There were higher usage rates for insulin pens among specialists than PCPs, although there were higher usage rates among more experienced PCPs. Regarding glucose monitoring, most specialists and PCPs did not recommend "block checking," which has been commonly thought of as a reasonable compromise checking schedule for patients with type 2 diabetes not using insulin. PCPs who were more experienced and used outside educational resources, such as a certified diabetes educator, and specialists who saw more patients on a weekly basis were more likely to prescribe the use of continuous glucose monitoring. There was a general underuse of continuous glucose monitoring in eligible patients.

CONCLUSIONS: These findings underscore the discordance between PCPs and specialists with regard to advanced knowledge and confidence required for the use of newer technologies for glucose monitoring and insulin replacement. We have identified important remedial opportunities for quality- and performance-based educational interventions.

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