Spectrum of Diabetes Research does not Reflect Patients' Scientific Preferences: A Longitudinal Evaluation of Diabetes Research Areas 2010-2013 vs. a Cross-sectional Survey in Patients with Diabetes

Exp Clin Endocrinol Diabetes. 2015 May;123(5):299-302. doi: 10.1055/s-0034-1398591. Epub 2015 Feb 6.


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.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Biomedical Research* / economics
  • Biomedical Research* / trends
  • Congresses as Topic
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diabetes Mellitus / etiology
  • Diabetes Mellitus / physiopathology
  • Diabetes Mellitus / prevention & control
  • Diabetes Mellitus / therapy*
  • Europe
  • Family Health
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Patient Preference*
  • Research Support as Topic