Aims: To assess satisfaction with treatment and psychological well-being associated with insulin glargine and Neutral Protamine Hagedorn (NPH). Insulin glargine, a new long-acting insulin analogue, provides constant, peakless insulin release following once-daily administration and is associated with fewer hypoglycaemic episodes, despite metabolic control equivalent to that achieved with NPH human basal insulin.
Methods: The Diabetes Treatment Satisfaction Questionnaire (DTSQ) and Well-being Questionnaire (W-BQ) were completed at baseline and at weeks 8, 20 or 28 by 517 patients with Type 1 diabetes participating in a randomized, controlled European trial comparing insulin glargine and NPH. Analysis of covariance was performed on change from baseline scores (main effects: treatment and pooled site; covariate: baseline scores).
Results: Treatment satisfaction improved with insulin glargine at all time points, including endpoint, but deteriorated slightly with NPH. These differences were significant throughout the study (change from baseline to endpoint: +1.27 vs. -0.56; P = 0.0001). Outcomes were better with insulin glargine for the DTSQ items, Perceived Frequency of Hyperglycaemia and Hypoglycaemia, with statistically significant differences at week 28 and endpoint for hyperglycaemia (P = 0.0373 and 0.0379) and at week 20 for hypoglycaemia (P = 0.0024). There was no difference in psychological well-being between the treatment groups, with mean scores increasing in both.
Conclusions: Study participants had treatment-independent improvements in General Well-being. Advantages for insulin glargine were seen in significantly improved Treatment Satisfaction throughout the study, together with lower Perceived Frequency of Hyperglycaemia than for patients on NPH, without a significant increase in Perceived Frequency of Hypoglycaemia.