Twenty-one diabetic patients who self-monitored their glucose levels (via either reflectance meter or visual strips) were compared with 17 closely matched patients who did not monitor their levels. Mean age, duration of diabetes, ancillary illnesses, hospitalizations, and diabetes complications (number and type) did not statistically differ between the two groups. Over the 3-year interval of the retrospective study, there were no differences in glycohemoglobin values between the groups. We conclude that self-monitoring of blood glucose levels alone did not improve the mean amount of glycemia in these patients. Alternative strategies must be developed for use in concert with self-monitoring technology to improve its effectiveness.