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Articles by A. J. Farmer
Total Records ( 6 ) for A. J. Farmer
  D. P. French , A. N. Wade , P. Yudkin , H. A. W. Neil , A. L. Kinmonths and A. J. Farmer

Aims To determine whether differences in beliefs about diabetes and its treatment resulted from different intensities of self-monitoring of blood glucose (SMBG) in non-insulin treated patients with Type 2 diabetes in the Diabetes Glycaemic Education and Monitoring (DiGEM) trial.

Methods Patients (n = 453) were randomized to usual care, less-intensive SMBG and more intensive SMBG. Beliefs about diabetes were measured with a standard questionnaire (the revised Illness Perceptions Questionnaire; IPQ-R). Changes in beliefs were analysed using analysis of covariance (ancova) with adjustment for baseline values. Mediation analyses assessed whether differences in behavioural outcomes between groups could be attributed to differences in beliefs.

Results Completed questionnaires were returned by 339 patients (74.8%). Respondents were mean (± sd) age 65.9 ± 10 years and with diabetes duration of 4.8 ± 4.7 years (median 36, range 1–384 months). Concerns about the consequences of diabetes increased in both self-monitoring groups, relative to control subjects [P = 0.004; Cohen’s d standardized effect size = 0.19 less intensive and d = 0.36 more intensive monitoring]. No other beliefs about diabetes differed between groups. Beliefs about the importance of self-testing increased in both self-monitoring groups relative to the usual-care group (P < 0.001; d = 0.57 less intensive and d = 0.63 more intensive monitoring). Changes in psychological well-being did not differ between groups, but control patients reported greater increases in general (P = 0.014) and specific (P < 0.001) dietary adherence than did patients in the self-monitoring groups. These outcomes were not mediated by intervention-related changes in beliefs.

Conclusions Despite changes in some beliefs about diabetes differing between groups there were no corresponding changes in self-reported health behaviours. This suggests that changes in illness beliefs resulting from SMBG do not cause changes in diabetes-related health behaviours.

  N. Jenkins , N. Hallowell , A. J. Farmer , R. R. Holman and J. Lawton
  Aim  To explore participants' experiences of intensifying insulin therapy during the Treating to Target in Type 2 Diabetes (4-T) trial.

Methods  In-depth interviews were conducted with 41 trial participants who had had their insulin therapy intensified during this trial. Data were analysed using an inductive, thematic approach.

Results  The vast majority of participants were receptive towards intensifying treatment. Whilst some were happy simply to follow health professionals' recommendations, others saw taking two types of insulin as a more effective way of controlling their diabetes. Post-intensification, participants sought to remember to take their additional injections by developing injection-related strategies and daily routines. The need to inject insulin whilst in public often arose more frequently following intensification and was a consistent source of anxiety. Those who were worried about injecting in public sought to avoid having to do so; for example, by injecting in toilets or by advancing or delaying the timing of their injections.

Conclusions  It was not increasing the number of daily injections per se which was problematic for the participants who had agreed to have their insulin therapies intensified, but the increased likelihood of having to inject insulin in public. Addressing concerns about injecting in public places may help promote adherence to intensified insulin regimens.

  C. L. Blacklock , J. A. Hirst , K. S. Taylor , R. J. Stevens , N. W. Roberts and A. J. Farmer
  Aims  Renin-angiotensin inhibitors in Type 2 diabetes and microalbuminuria reduce renal and cardiovascular risk, but evidence supporting use of maximal tolerated dose is unclear. We aimed to determine the extent of renin-angiotensin inhibitor dose-dependent effects from randomized trials carried out in a clinical setting.

Methods  In a meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials, alternate doses of angiotensin receptor blockers or angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors in patients with Type 2 diabetes and microalbuminuria were compared. MEDLINE, EMBASE and the Cochrane Register of Controlled Trials were searched from January 2006 to August 2010. Trials prior to January 2006 were identified from a prior systematic review. Identified outcomes were albumin excretion rate, progression and regression of albuminuria and adverse events.

Results  Four trials including 1051 patients compared doses of angiotensin receptor blockers. No trials compared doses of angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor. The percentage decline in albumin excretion rate from baseline was greater with higher doses (18% higher, 95% CI 8-28%), the regression to normoalbuminuria was greater (OR 1.66, 95% CI 1.22-2.27), with less progression to macroalbuminuria (OR 0.62, CI 0.38-1.02). Adverse events were fewer with lower-dose angiotensin receptor blockers (OR 1.32, 95% CI 0.90-1.92).

Conclusions  Higher-dose compared with lower-dose angiotensin receptor blockers in Type 2 diabetes with microalbuminuria are associated with significantly reduced albumin excretion rate and increased regression to normoalbuminuria. Adverse events are more frequent, but not significantly so. There is potential for trials to determine clinical cardiovascular and renal outcomes at differing doses. Our findings support current recommendations to titrate renin-angiotensin inhibitors to maximum dose whilst considering risk of adverse side effects with higher doses.

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

  J. L. Oke , R. J. Stevens , K. Gaitskell and A. J. Farmer
  Aims  Glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c) is monitored to guide treatment decisions in relation to glycaemic goals over time. Changes between two consecutive HbA1c tests result not only from deterioration or improvement in glycaemic control, but also from biovariability and measurement error. We model how this short-term variability impacts on HbA1c monitoring.

Methods  Using data from a randomized trial of non-insulin treated patients with Type 2 diabetes we fitted a random-effects model for progression and variability of HbA1c. We estimated how many tests where HbA1c ≥ 7.5% (58.5 mmol/mol) would be false-positive (underlying HbA1c < 7.5% but test ≥ 7.5% owing to variability) vs. true-positive, in people with initial HbA1c between 6.5% and 7.3% (48 mmol/mol and 56 mmol/mol).

Results  Participants (n = 320) had mean (SD) age 66 (10) years, BMI 31.3 (6.0) kg/m2 and median HbA1c was 7.1% (54 mmol/mol) with interquartile range 6.6% (49 mmol/mol) to 7.7% (61 mmol/mol). Mean (95% CI) change in HbA1c was 0.1% (1 mmol/mol) with 95% confidence interval 0.05% (0.5 mmol/mol) to 0.15% (2 mmol/mol) per 6 months. The minimum interval at which a true-positive test is more likely than a false positive test is 270 days for a starting HbA1c of 6.9% (52 mmol/mol) and 360 days at a starting value of 6.5% (48 mmol/mol).

Conclusion  In patients with initial HbA1c close to treatment goal, retesting at 6 months would yield more true-positive than false-positive tests. For patients with lower initial HbA1c, retesting at 6 months would yield more false than true-positive tests. In all patients, retesting at 12 months yields more true than false-positive tests. In very few patients would retesting at 3 months be justified.

  A. J. Farmer , K. J. Brockbank , M. L. Keech , E. J. England and C. D. Deakin
  Aims  The aim was to estimate the incidence of severe hypoglycaemia requiring emergency ambulance assistance, its management and associated costs.

Methods  A retrospective observational study used routinely collected data for a 1-year period from December 2009 to November 2010 from the South Central Ambulance Service National Health Service Trust, UK. The main outcome was episodes reported by ambulance personnel and costs were estimated from published data.

Results  During the 1-year study period, 398 409 emergency calls were received, of which 4081 (1.02%) were coded as hypoglycaemia. The overall numbers (and annual rate) of hypoglycaemia recorded among people ≥ 15 years with presumed diabetes was 3962 (2.1%), but for those aged 15-35 years was 516 (7.5%) and for those aged ≥ 65 years was 1886 (1.9%). Of those attended, 1441 (35.3%) were taken to hospital. The estimated total cost of initial ambulance attendance and treatment at scene was £553 000; if transport to hospital was necessary, the additional ambulance costs were £223 000 plus emergency department costs of £140 000; and the cost of primary care follow-up was estimated as £61 000. The average cost per emergency call was £263. The estimated annual cost of emergency calls for severe hypoglycaemia is £13.6m for England.

Conclusions  Our estimates suggest prevalence of severe hypoglycaemia attended by the emergency services is high in younger age groups and lower for older age groups, although the absolute numbers of severe events in older age groups contribute substantially to the overall costs of providing emergency assistance for hypoglycaemia.

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