Blood glucose discrimination training in insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) patients

Biofeedback Self Regul. 1988 Sep;13(3):201-17. doi: 10.1007/BF00999170.


Self-management of insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) is dependent on a negative feedback loop of blood glucose (BG) fluctuations, which in turn directs treatment decisions to maintain normal BG. Although this feedback is typically accomplished by self-monitoring of blood glucose (SMBG), SMBG has limitations, and patients often rely on what their BG "feels" like. Two studies were performed to evaluate whether patients could learn to more accurately "feel"/discriminate their BG on the basis of internal cues or internal plus external BG cues. In Study I, BG Awareness Training significantly improved pre- to posttreatment BG estimation accuracy, relative to a control group. Study II replicated BG Awareness Training efficacy in improving BG estimation accuracy. Improvement in estimation accuracy was related only to initial accuracy; those who were initially less accurate improved the most. This improvement was represented in a 31% reduction in dangerous BG estimation errors and a 9% increase in accurate estimates. Resulting estimations were, however, still significantly less accurate than SMBG at the end of training.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Awareness
  • Blood Glucose Self-Monitoring / standards*
  • Cues
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / blood*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / psychology
  • Discrimination Learning*
  • Female
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Reference Values
  • Self-Assessment