Do diabetes mellitus patients adhere to self-monitoring of blood glucose (SMBG) and is this associated with glycemic control? Experiences from a SMBG program in western Kenya

Diabetes Res Clin Pract. 2016 Feb;112:37-43. doi: 10.1016/j.diabres.2015.11.006. Epub 2015 Nov 23.


Aims: Among diabetes mellitus (DM) patients with poor glycemic control enrolled into a self-monitoring of blood glucose (SMBG) program in Kenya, to assess the level of SMBG adherence, its associated factors and its relation to glycemic control (defined as HbA1c <7% and/or 2% absolute reduction relative to baseline).

Methods: In this retrospective cohort study, we used routinely collected data of patients enrolled during 2012-2013. We assessed adherence to SMBG by dividing the number of glucose tests performed by the number recommended. A level of ≥ 80% was considered 'good adherence'. Glycemic control was considered as absolute change from baseline of 2%.

Results: Of 164 patients (59% female; 76% rural), the proportions with good SMBG adherence were 34%, 17%, 15% and 10% during 0-6, 7-12, 13-18 and 19-24 months into the HGM program respectively. In multivariate analysis, male gender, urban place of residence and payment for glucostrips were associated with poor adherence during 0-12 months. The mean reduction in HbA1c compared to baseline was 1.2%, 1.1%, 0.8% and 0.7% at 6, 12, 18 and 24 months, respectively. We did not find any association between SMBG adherence and glycemic control.

Conclusions: Adherence to SMBG was sub-optimal, especially among those who had to pay for glucostrips. Patient education and provision of free glucostrips are recommended to improve adherence and glycemic control.

Keywords: Adherence; DM; Gglycemic control; Self-monitoring of blood glucose.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism*
  • Blood Glucose Self-Monitoring / methods*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / diagnosis*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Kenya / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Compliance*
  • Program Evaluation*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Rural Population*
  • Time Factors
  • Young Adult


  • Blood Glucose
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A