Clinical inertia in individualising care for diabetes: is there time to do more in type 2 diabetes?

Diabetes Ther. 2014 Dec;5(2):347-54. doi: 10.1007/s13300-014-0077-8. Epub 2014 Aug 12.


Clinical inertia is defined as the failure to establish appropriate targets and escalate treatment to achieve treatment goals. It accounts for a significant proportion of failure to achieve targets in the management of diabetes and contributes to up to 200,000 adverse diabetes- related outcomes per year. Despite a growing awareness of the phenomenon, and newer, better-tolerated agents for the control of diabetes, there has been little improvement over the last decade in the prevalence of clinical inertia. Although common-place in clinical practice, clinical inertia does not appear to affect clinical trials. There are lessons that may be translated from these randomised controlled trials to clinical practice, which that may improve the care for those with diabetes. Key amongst these interventions are good education, clear treatment strategy and more time for interaction between physician and patients, all of which appears to reduce clinical inertia as evidenced by the "placebo effect" of clinical trials. We plan to review here, the lessons that can be learnt from clinical trials and how these may translate to better care for people with diabetes.