The first hybrid closed loop (HCL) system, which automates insulin delivery but requires user inputs, was approved for treatment of type 1 diabetes (T1D) by the US Food and Drug Administration in September 2016. The purpose of this study was to explore the benefits, expectations, and attitudes of individuals with T1D following a clinical trial of an HCL system.Methods
Thirty-two individuals with T1D (17 adults, 15 adolescents) participated in focus groups after 4 to 5 days of system use. Content analysis generated themes regarding perceived benefits, hassles, and limitations.Results
Some participants felt misled by terms such as “closed loop” and “artificial pancreas,” which seemed to imply a more “hands-off” experience. Perceived benefits were improved glycemic control, anticipated reduction of long-term complications, better quality of life, and reduced mental burden of diabetes. Hassles and limitations included unexpected tasks for the user, difficulties wearing the system, concerns about controlling highs, and being reminded of diabetes.Conclusion
Users are willing to accept some hassles and limitations if they also perceive health and quality-of-life benefits beyond current self-management. It is important for clinicians to provide a balanced view of positives and negatives to help manage expectations.