Aims To examine patient and physician beliefs regarding insulin therapy and the degree to which patients adhere to their insulin regimens. Methods Internet survey of 1250 physicians (600 specialists, 650 primary care physicians) who treat patients with diabetes and telephone survey of 1530 insulin-treated patients (180 with Type1 diabetes, 1350 with Type2 diabetes) in China, France, Japan, Germany, Spain, Turkey, the UK or the USA. Results One third (33.2%) of patients reported insulin omission/non-adherence at least 1day in the last month, with an average of 3.3days. Three quarters (72.5%) of physicians report that their typical patient does not take their insulin as prescribed, with a mean of 4.3days per month of basal insulin omission/non-adherence and 5.7days per month of prandial insulin omission/non-adherence. Patients and providers indicated the same five most common reasons for insulin omission/non-adherence: too busy; travelling; skipped meals; stress/emotional problems; public embarrassment. Physicians reported low patient success at initiating insulin in a timely fashion and adjusting insulin doses. Most physicians report that many insulin-treated patients do not have adequate glucose control (87.6%) and that they would treat more aggressively if not for concern about hypoglycaemia (75.5%). Although a majority of patients (and physicians) regard insulin treatment as restrictive, more patients see insulin treatment as having positive than negative impacts on their lives. Conclusions Glucose control is inadequate among insulin-treated patients, in part attributable to insulin omission/non-adherence and lack of dose adjustment. There is a need for insulin regimens that are less restrictive and burdensome with lower risk of hypoglycaemia.
- Insulin therapy
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Internal Medicine
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism