Research: Care Delivery
Determinants of self-monitoring of blood glucose in patients with Type 1 diabetes: a multi-centre study in Brazil
The aim of this study was to determine the relationship between the daily frequency of self-monitoring of blood glucose and glycaemic control, demographic and socio-economic status in patients with Type 1 diabetes under routine clinical care in Brazil.
This was a cross-sectional, multi-centre study conducted between December 2008 and December 2010 in 28 public clinics in 20 Brazilian cities. The data were obtained from 3176 patients, aged 22 ± 11.8 years, of whom 56.3% were female and 57.4% were Caucasian. The mean time since diabetes diagnosis was 11.7 ± 8.1 years.
The prevalence of self-monitoring of blood glucose was 88.5%. There was a significant increase in self-monitoring frequency associated with female gender, lower ages, more intensive diabetes management and higher socio-economic status. A correlation between HbA1c levels and the daily frequency of self-monitoring was observed (rs = –0.13; P = 0.001). The mean HbA1c levels were related to the daily frequency of self-monitoring (P < 0.001) without additional benefit to patients who performed self-monitoring more than four times daily (9.2, 11.2, 10.2,15.2 and 15% for one, two, three, four, five or more self-monitoring tests daily, respectively; P < 0.0001).
The majority of our patients (88.5%) performed three or more self-monitoring tests daily, with more frequent testing reported by females, younger patients, those on intensive insulin regimens and of higher socio-economic status. No additional benefit was found in patients who performed self-monitoring more than four times daily. The diabetes care team must improve patients' education regarding self-monitoring of blood glucose and its benefits.