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

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


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.


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.


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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