Rationale and aims: Using an insulin pen may improve the quality of life (QOL) for diabetic individuals. However, glycemic control and its relationship to better QOL are controversial. The aim of this study was to determine the relationship between health-related QOL and glycemic control in diabetic patients using insulin pen.
Methods: All of the participants were diabetic patients receiving insulin therapy by syringe injection for longer than 1 month. One group of enrolled subjects changed over to use of insulin pen for 12 weeks, while the other group (age-matched control subjects) continued to use syringe for insulin-injection during the same period. Fasting plasma glucose, HbA1c and a 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36) were assessed in both groups before and after the 12-week study.
Results: A total of 32 subjects in the insulin pen group and 33 subjects in the syringe group completed the assessment. In comparison with baseline, fasting glucose significantly decreased in the insulin pen group (-57 +/- 14 mg dL(-1), P < 0.001), and the reduction was significantly greater than that in the syringe group (P = 0.003). The summary scale of physical components but not mental components in the SF-36 was significantly higher in the insulin pen group than in the syringe group (P = 0.037). This improvement was independent of the change in fasting glucose.
Conclusions: Using insulin pen for insulin-injection improved glycemic control and health-related QOL in diabetic patients. The better functional health status as a result of physical improvement was independent of the glycemic control.