Use of a real-time continuous glucose monitoring system in children and young adults on insulin pump therapy: Patients’ and caregivers’ perception of benefit

Helen DeVos Children's Hospital, Spectrum Health, Pediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes Clinic, 230 Michigan Street NE, Suite 101, MC 77, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 49503, USA.
Pediatric Diabetes (Impact Factor: 2.57). 12/2009; 11(3):182-7. DOI: 10.1111/j.1399-5448.2009.00549.x
Source: PubMed


Real-time continuous glucose monitoring systems (RT-CGMS) are a recently introduced technology for type 1 diabetes and experience in children is limited.
To assess patient and caregiver's perception of benefits and disadvantages of RT-CGMS in children or young adults with type 1 diabetes mellitus (DM) on insulin pump therapy.
Forty-three subjects (3-25 yr) on insulin pump therapy were included in the study. Thirty-four used RT-CGMS for a short-term trial (4 wk, ST group) and nine as a long-term tool (2-18 months, LT group). Forty subjects or their caregivers completed a questionnaire.
On the basis of the questionnaire responses, hypoglycemia prevention was the most common perceived benefit (88%), followed by elimination of hypoglycemia-related anxiety (83%), ease of pattern management (85%), improvement of diabetes control (80%), improvement of quality of life (78%), and ease of diabetes care (78%). Negative effects included irritation/annoyance from the sensor alarm (48%) and insertion site bruising, pain, or irritation (43%). A small percentage of patients who were interested in purchasing the device (12%) decided against using it LT after a 4-wk trial on RT-CGMS.
The most common perceived benefits of RT-CGMS are prevention of hypoglycemia and decrease in hypoglycemia-related anxiety. Negative effects are uncommon and seem to be unlikely to affect the decision to use RT-CGMS for a LT. A ST trial seems to be a valuable tool for the patient/caregiver in determining whether to purchase the device and in setting realistic expectations of its potential benefits.

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