Aims: To examine patient and physician beliefs regarding insulin therapy and the degree to which patients adhere to their insulin regimens.
Methods: Internet survey of 1250 physicians (600 specialists, 650 primary care physicians) who treat patients with diabetes and telephone survey of 1530 insulin-treated patients (180 with Type 1 diabetes, 1350 with Type 2 diabetes) in China, France, Japan, Germany, Spain, Turkey, the UK or the USA.
Results: One third (33.2%) of patients reported insulin omission/non-adherence at least 1 day in the last month, with an average of 3.3 days. Three quarters (72.5%) of physicians report that their typical patient does not take their insulin as prescribed, with a mean of 4.3 days per month of basal insulin omission/non-adherence and 5.7 days per month of prandial insulin omission/non-adherence. Patients and providers indicated the same five most common reasons for insulin omission/non-adherence: too busy; travelling; skipped meals; stress/emotional problems; public embarrassment. Physicians reported low patient success at initiating insulin in a timely fashion and adjusting insulin doses. Most physicians report that many insulin-treated patients do not have adequate glucose control (87.6%) and that they would treat more aggressively if not for concern about hypoglycaemia (75.5%). Although a majority of patients (and physicians) regard insulin treatment as restrictive, more patients see insulin treatment as having positive than negative impacts on their lives.
Conclusions: Glucose control is inadequate among insulin-treated patients, in part attributable to insulin omission/non-adherence and lack of dose adjustment. There is a need for insulin regimens that are less restrictive and burdensome with lower risk of hypoglycaemia.
© 2012 The Authors. Diabetic Medicine © 2012 Diabetes UK.