Aims: Recommendations for self-monitoring of blood glucose (SMBG) from the DCCT have not been implemented with the same rigour as recommendations for intensifying insulin therapy. We assessed the frequency of and motives for SMBG and compared SMBG behaviour with clinical, behavioural and demographic characteristics.
Methods: Cross-sectional Danish-British multicentre survey of 1076 consecutive patients with type 1 diabetes, who completed a detailed questionnaire on SMBG and related issues. The key variables were test frequency and motive.
Results: SMBG was performed daily by 39% of the patients and less than weekly by 24%. Sixty-seven percent reported to perform routine testing, while the remaining 33% only tested when hypo- or hyperglycaemia was suspected. Age, gender, and level of diabetes-related concern were associated with test pattern. Reported frequencies of mild and severe hypoglycaemia and awareness of hypoglycaemia were independently associated with testing behaviour, whereas the presence of late diabetic complications was not. Lower HbA1c was associated with more frequent testing.
Conclusion: Patient compliance regarding SMBG is limited. Thus, almost two thirds of the patients do not perform daily SMBG and one third do not perform routine tests.