Objective: To compare the proportions and trends in the distribution of research topics as presented during the annual meetings 2010-2013 of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) to patients' preferences.
Methods: Longitudinal evaluation of EASD research areas 2010-2013 divided into 9 main categories and compared with a cross-sectional survey in 918 people (652 with patients with diabetes, 205 relatives, 61 others interested), who had allocated their preferences to the same 9 topics.
Results: "Development, pathophysiology and prevention of diabetes" was the primary category of interest for 25% of patients, 19% preferred "transplantation and cell therapy" and 16% "blood glucose measurement, devices and artificial pancreas". During the 4 years of abstract investigation 50% or more of total research activities was constantly dedicated to "pathophysiology and prevention of diabetes", less than 2% to "transplantation and cell therapy" and 2.8-4.3% to "blood glucose measurement, devices and artificial pancreas". The average proportion of EASD research related to "blood-glucose lowering therapy without insulin" and "insulin therapy" corresponded with the proportion of research patients would like to see (12.0 vs. 12.5%, and 6.9 vs. 4.7%, respectively). The majority, however, was commercially funded. Non-commercial research was not closer correlated to patients' preferences.
Conclusion: The distribution of research topics over the last 4 years as measured by the distribution of accepted EASD abstracts does not reflect what patients and their relatives want to have investigated. Better patient involvement and a reassessment of non-commercial funding strategies might help create more valuable research.
© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York.