Background: Preventing the complications of diabetes requires tight control and minimizing blood glucose fluctuation. Pursuing these goals increases the risk of severe hypoglycemia. The authors hoped to identify if using continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) decreased the incidence of severe hypoglycemia, resulted in less fear of hypoglycemia, and improved patient empowerment and what impact CCM had on quality of life (QOL) issues.
Methods: Questionnaires were used to gather demographic data, to measure educational experiences with CGM, QOL issues concerning fear of hypoglycemia and severe hypoglycemia, confidence to make changes to insulin regimens before and after using CGM, and the incidence of severe hypoglycemia before and while using CGM, and to assess the impact of CGM on QOL.
Results: The data and answers reported suggest significantly less fear of hypoglycemia and severe hypoglycemia and increased patient empowerment with CGM. Further shown is a reduced incidence of acute complications as evidenced by significantly decreased incidence of severe hypoglycemia. CGM appears to have a significant, positive impact on the stress associated with having and managing diabetes.
Conclusions: Using CGM as part of the diabetes self-management plan offers the potential to significantly improve user outcomes as measured by QOL, reduction of fear, and patient empowerment. Using CGM can allow patients to achieve tighter control of their blood glucose values with reduced fear of hypoglycemia, reduced incidence of severe hypoglycemia, and a decreased sense of burden from having diabetes.