Self-Management Behaviors in Adults on Insulin Pump Therapy: What Are Patients Really Doing?

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Abstract

Background:

Successful diabetes management requires behavioral changes. Little is known about self-management behaviors (SMB) in adults on insulin pump (IP) therapy.

Objective:

Analyze and characterize observed common diabetes SMB in adult participants with type 1 diabetes (T1D) using IPs and to correlate behaviors with glycemic outcomes based on participant’s individual glucose targets.

Materials and Methods:

One month of IP data from adults with T1D were downloaded. Computer programs were written to automatically quantify the observed frequency of expected behaviors such as: insulin bolusing, checking blood glucose (BG), and recording carbohydrate intake, and other interactions with the IP.

Results:

Nineteen participants were recruited and 4,249 IP interactions were analyzed to ascertain behaviors. Intersubject variability of adherence to minimally expected behaviors was observed: daily documentation of carbohydrates and BG checks in 76.6 (31.7)% and 60.0 (32.5)%, respectively, and bolusing without consulting the IPBC in 13.0 (16.9)% of delivered boluses, while daily insulin bolus delivery was consistent 96.8 (5.7)%. Higher frequency of adherence to daily behaviors correlated with a higher number of glucose readings at target.

Conclusion:

Results indicate variability in SMB and do not always match recommendations. Case-scenarios based on observed real-life SMB could be incorporated into interviews/surveys to elucidate ways to improve SMB.

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