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Diabetic Medicine

Year: 2011  |  Volume: 28  |  Issue: 11  |  Page No.: 1395 - 1400

Experience of hypoglycaemia is associated with changes in beliefs about diabetes in patients with Type 2 diabetes

U. L. Malanda, S. D. Bot, D. P. French, P. J. Kostense, A. N. Wade, J. M. Dekker, G. Nijpels and A. J. Farmer

Abstract

Aim  Hypoglycaemia may have a detrimental impact on quality of life for patients with Type 2 diabetes. There are few clinical studies exploring the impact of experiencing hypoglycaemia on beliefs about diabetes and health status. The aim of this study was to explore associations between experience of hypoglycaemia and changes in diabetes beliefs and self-reported health status in patients with non-insulin-treated Type 2 diabetes using a blood glucose meter.

Methods  One-year prospective cohort analysis of 226 patients recruited to a randomized trial evaluating the impact of self-monitoring of blood glucose. Self-reported hypoglycaemia over 1 year was categorized into three groups: (1) no experience of hypoglycaemia; (2) blood glucose measurements < 4 mmol/l with no associated symptoms of hypoglycaemia (grade 1); and (3) symptomatic hypoglycaemia (grade 2 and 3). Measures of beliefs about diabetes (Revised Illness Perception Questionnaire) and health status (EuroQol-5D) were assessed at baseline and 1 year. Differences in mean changes over 1 year were explored with analyses of covariance.

Results  There was a significant increase in mean score in beliefs about personal control (1.14; 95% CI 0.14-2.14) among those experiencing grade 1 hypoglycaemia compared with those not experiencing hypoglycaemia. There were no significant differences in changes in health status between groups, with small overall changes that were inconsistent between groups.

Conclusions  This study does not provide support for a long-term adverse impact on beliefs about diabetes or health status from the experience of mild symptomatic hypoglycaemia, in well-controlled, non-insulin-treated patients with Type 2 diabetes using self-monitoring of blood glucose.

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