Aim: To further our understanding of individual use and experience of continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) in adults with Type 1 diabetes and impaired awareness of hypoglycaemia, we conducted a qualitative study supplementary to a randomized controlled trial, using semi-structured interviews.
Methods: Twenty-three participants of the IN CONTROL trial were interviewed within 4 weeks after the last study visit. The interview centred around experiences of CGM, taking into account the person's expectations prior to the trial. The interview was semi-structured, using open-ended questions and, if needed, prompts were offered to elicit further responses. Using thematic analysis, the interview transcripts were coded independently by three members of the research team. The consolidated criteria for reporting qualitative research (COREQ) were followed.
Results: Overall, CGM was experienced as helpful in gaining more insight into glucose variability, and temporarily improved sense of control, reduced distress and made participants less dependent on others. However, some participants experienced confrontation with CGM output as intrusive, while some reported frustration due to failing technique and difficulty trusting the device. Participants reported active and passive self-management behaviours mirroring individual differences in attitudes and coping styles.
Conclusions: In adults with Type 1 diabetes at risk of recurrent hypoglycaemia due to impaired awareness of hypoglycaemia, CGM use enhances a sense of control and safety for most, but not all. Future studies should further explore differential use of CGM in this population in the context of active and passive self-management styles.
© 2017 Diabetes UK.