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Research Corner: Why is it often difficult to begin insulin once it has been prescribed by a doctor?

Tip to take away:  When used as prescribed, insulin can be a safe and effective part of your diabetes treatment plan.  If you have questions about recommendations your health care provider has made, ask for clarification or find another trustworthy source of help such as a Fit4D diabetes coach.  Education is the key to staying healthy with your diabetes.

Article Summary:  As part of the TRIAD (Translating Research Into Action for Diabetes) study, interviews were conducted with participants with poorly controlled type 2 diabetes who were each already taking at least two oral medications. This study compared the responses of those had never used insulin but for whom it had been recommended and prescribed by their health care provider (69 people) with those participants who had recently begun using insulin (100 people).  There was a significant difference in a number of areas.

Compared with those people who had begun insulin, the subjects who had not begun their prescription were significantly more likely to blame themselves for their health problems and to believe that using insulin caused health problems such as blindness, amputations, kidney disease or heart attacks.  They were more likely to be concerned about their ability to use insulin correctly, about the injections being painful, and about the ways in which insulin would impact their work and their social life, and reported both a lack of information being offered and difficulty understanding written information they had been given.  Significantly fewer of these subjects reported receiving insulin training from their doctor or other health care provider.

The authors conclude that lack of information and poor communication between patients and their doctors or other health care providers is a primary reason people may not be receiving adequate treatment for their diabetes.

Reference: Barriers to insulin initiation: the translating research into action. Crosson, JC , Karter AJ, Marrero DG, Moffet HH, Parker MM, Saha C. Diabetes Care. 33.4 (Apr. 2010): p733.

For more information about insulin:  

http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/treatment-and-care/medication/insulin/

To read about myths and facts concerning insulin: http://clinical.diabetesjournals.org/content/25/1/39.full

Fit4D’s Research Corner is a feature section where we summarize the latest research studies in diabetes management and provide practical tips based on the findings. Check back regularly for more Research Corner updates!

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