Adherence to glycemic monitoring in diabetes

J Diabetes Sci Technol. 2015 May;9(3):668-75. doi: 10.1177/1932296814567709. Epub 2015 Jan 14.


Glucose monitoring either by self-monitoring of blood glucose (SMBG) or continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) plays an important role in diabetes management and in reducing risk for diabetes-related complications. However, despite evidence supporting the role of glucose monitoring in better patient health outcomes, studies also reveal relatively poor adherence rates to SMBG and CGM use and numerous patient-reported barriers. Fortunately, some promising intervention strategies have been identified that promote at least short-term improvements in patients' adherence to SMBG. These include education, problem solving, contingency management, goal setting, cognitive behavioral therapy, and motivational interviewing. Specific to CGM, interventions to promote greater use among patients are currently under way, yet one pilot study provides data suggesting better maintenance of CGM use in patients showing greater readiness for behavior change. The purpose of this review is to summarize the literature specific to glucose monitoring in patients with diabetes focusing specifically on current adherence rates, barriers to monitoring, and promising intervention strategies that may be ready to deploy now in the clinic setting to promote greater patient adherence to glucose monitoring. Yet, to continue to help patients with diabetes adhere to glucose monitoring, future research is needed to identify the treatment strategies and the intervention schedules that most likely lead to long-term maintenance of optimal glycemic monitoring levels.

Keywords: adherence; continuous glucose monitoring; intervention; measurement; self-monitoring of blood glucose.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Blood Glucose / analysis
  • Blood Glucose Self-Monitoring / standards*
  • Diabetes Mellitus / blood*
  • Diabetes Mellitus / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Patient Compliance*


  • Blood Glucose