Incretin-based therapies have a glucose-dependent mode of action that results in excellent glucose-lowering efficacy with very low risk of hypoglycaemia, and weight neutrality [dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitors] or weight loss [glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists], in people with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Patient-reported outcomes (PROs) complement physician evaluations of efficacy and tolerability and offer insights into the subjective experience of using modern diabetes treatments. We conducted a systematic search of clinical trials of the GLP-1 receptor agonists liraglutide, exenatide and long-acting exenatide, one of which included the oral DPP-4 inhibitor sitagliptin as a comparator. No other PRO data for DPP-4 inhibitors were identified. This review summarizes PRO data from eight clinical trials, the majority of which used the Diabetes Treatment Satisfaction Questionnaire (DTSQ) and/or Impact of Weight on Quality of Life-Lite (IWQOL-Lite) to evaluate patient experience. People with T2DM were highly satisfied with modern incretin-based therapies compared with traditional therapies. Treatment satisfaction (including perceptions of convenience and flexibility) was high and generally higher with GLP-1 agonists in association with their greater glucose-lowering efficacy and tendency to facilitate weight loss. Weight-related quality of life (QoL) also improved in people using incretin therapies. The glycaemic improvements achieved with GLP-1 receptor agonists, coupled with the low incidence of hypoglycaemia and ability to cause weight loss, seemed to offset potential concern about injections. It is plausible that superior patient-reported benefits found in clinical trials may translate into improved, clinically meaningful, long-term outcomes through increased treatment acceptability. Long-term, prospective data are needed to ascertain whether this is the case in practice.
© 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.