Aims: Basal insulin (BI) treatment initiation and dose titration in type 2 diabetes (T2DM) are often delayed. Such "clinical inertia" results in poor glycaemic control and high risk of long-term complications. This survey aimed to determine healthcare professional (HCP) and patient attitudes to BI initiation and titration.
Methods: An online survey (July-August 2015) including HCPs and patients with T2DM in the USA, France and Germany. Patients were ≥18 years old and had been on BI for 6 to 36 months, or discontinued BI within the previous 12 months.
Results: Participants comprised 386 HCPs and 318 people with T2DM. While >75% of HCPs reported discussing titration at the initiation visit, only 16% to 28% of patients remembered such discussions, many (32%-42%) were unaware of the need to titrate BI, and only 28% to 39% recalled mention of the time needed to reach glycaemic goals. Most HCPs and patients agreed that more effective support tools to assist BI initiation/titration are needed; patients indicated that provision of such tools would increase confidence in self-titration. HCPs identified fear of hypoglycaemia, failure to titrate in the absence of symptoms, and low patient motivation as important titration barriers. In contrast, patients identified weight gain, the perception that titration meant worsening disease, frustration over the time to reach HbA1c goals and fear of hypoglycaemia as major factors.
Conclusion: A disconnect exists between HCP- and patient-perceived barriers to effective BI titration. To optimize titration, strategies should be targeted to improve HCP-patient communication, and provide support and educational tools.
Keywords: basal insulin; insulin analogues; insulin therapy; type 2 diabetes.
© 2017 The Authors. Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.