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Keywords:

  • continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion;
  • education;
  • insulin infusion;
  • insulin pump therapy;
  • systematic review;
  • training

Abstract

Objectives  The objectives of this review were to establish the effectiveness of approaches to the provision of education for adults with type 1 diabetes using or initiating insulin pump therapy (IPT), and identify the best available evidence on the association between intervals and duration of follow up and the stated outcome criteria.

Inclusion criteria  This review considered all studies and papers that involved adults (aged 16 years or over) with type 1 diabetes using IPT as their primary form of therapy who participated in education or training, with no restrictions placed on gender or comorbidities. All forms of education, including resources utilised during education were included in the review.

Search strategy  The search strategy sought to find both published and unpublished studies and papers written in the English language. An initial limited search of MEDLINE and CINAHL databases was undertaken to identify optimal search terms. A second search using all identified key words and index terms was then undertaken based on key words specific to each database across all included databases from 1998 to February 2008. Thirdly, the reference lists of all identified reports and articles were searched for additional studies.

Methodological quality  Two independent reviewers assessed the methodological quality of retrieved papers using the corresponding checklist from the System for the Unified Management, Assessment and Review of Information (SUMARI) package.

Results  A total of 142 studies were identified as potentially relevant to the review question in the first and second steps of the literature search. Based on the title and abstract, 24 papers that were relevant to the review topic were retrieved for evaluation of methodological quality. Following this stage, 20 papers were excluded. Whilst searching the reference lists of the selected studies (n = 4), one paper met the inclusion criteria. Therefore, a total of five descriptive studies were included in the review. The included papers reported a variety of educational methods and different outcome measures.

Conclusion  In general, it is difficult to draw a strong conclusion regarding the effectiveness of components and strategies associated with IPT because of a lack of high-quality comparative studies, small sample sizes and a variability of reported methods in the included studies. However, included descriptive studies explored a range of issues related to the effectiveness of IPT therapy, and the educative requirements of patients. It is clear that type 1 diabetes patients initiating and utilising IPT need a comprehensive range of advice, education and training. The mixture of group and individual teaching, multidisciplinary teams as educators, educational materials, long-term training with multiple sessions and a variety of educational contents may all be effective for delivering IPT education and training.