Results and analysis of the 2008-2009 Insulin Injection Technique Questionnaire survey

J Diabetes. 2010 Sep;2(3):168-79. doi: 10.1111/j.1753-0407.2010.00077.x.


Background: The efficacy of injection therapy in diabetes depends on correct injection technique and, to provide patients with guidance in this area, we must understand how they currently inject.

Methods: From September 2008 to June 2009, 4352 insulin-injecting Type 1 and Type 2 diabetic patients from 171 centers in 16 countries were surveyed regarding their injection practices.

Results: Overall, 3.6% of patients use the 12.7-mm needle, 1.8% use the 12-mm needle, 1.6% use the 10-mm needle, 48.6% use the 8-mm needle, 15.8% use the 6-mm needle, and 21.6% use the 5-mm needle; 7% of patients do not know what length of needle they use. Twenty-one percent of patients admitted injecting into the same site for an entire day, or even a few days, a practice associated with lipohypertrophy. Approximately 50% of patients have or have had symptoms suggestive of lipohypertrophy. Abdominal lipohypertrophy seems to be more frequent in those using the two smaller injection size areas, and less frequent in those using larger areas. Nearly 3% of patients reported always injecting into lipohypertrophic lesions and 26% inject into them sometimes. Of the 65% of patients using cloudy insulins (e.g. NPH), 35% do not remix it before use.

Conclusions: It is clear from the latest survey that we have improved in certain areas, but that, in others, we have either not moved at all or our efforts have not yielded the results we expected. The results of the present survey are available online on a country-by-country and question-by-question basis at

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age of Onset
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Child
  • Data Collection
  • Demography
  • Diabetes Mellitus / drug therapy*
  • Equipment Design
  • Europe
  • Humans
  • Injections / adverse effects
  • Injections / methods*
  • Insulin / administration & dosage*
  • Insulin / therapeutic use
  • Middle Aged
  • Needles
  • Patient Selection
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*
  • United States


  • Insulin