Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

CWRU study finds visually impaired people get insulin pen dosages right

02.07.2010
Labels on the popular insulin pen used by people with diabetes warn against visually-impaired people using pens to measure out and administer their insulin dosage.

A Case Western Reserve University pilot study from the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing overturns that thinking, finding that visually impaired people actually did slightly better than their seeing peers, although the difference was not statistically significant.

Ann S. Williams, the lead investigator of the study, "A Comparison of Dosing Accuracy: Visually Impaired and Sighted People Using Insulin Pens," speculates, based on observations of individuals in the study, that the reason behind the poor performance of certain individuals in the sighted group is that some glossed over important instructions about how to use the pen. In contrast, individuals with sight problems listened, step by step, to complete audio instructions before using the pen in the study.

Sixty people participated in the study. This is one of the first research projects on insulin dosage to include participants who are visually impaired.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 23.6 million people in the United States—7.8% of the population—have diabetes. Among the 17.6 million with diagnosed diabetes, 3.6 million, or about 20 percent have visual impairment.

The results were published in the Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology. Besides the inherent importance of these results to visually impaired persons with diabetes, this study also demonstrates the importance of including people with disabilities in research.

CWRU has established the FIND Lab, a National Institutes of Nursing Research/National Institute of Health-funded center to promote Full Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities (FIND) in Research. It is part of the nursing school's SMART Center, funded by the NIH to find ways to promote better self-management of an individual's healthcare.

Although insulin pens are manufactured by a number of companies and have been on the market since the 1980s, Williams found no research literature available that supported the disclaimer that blind people cannot accurately use the insulin pens when they receive complete instructions in a format they can use.

In 2008, the National Federation for the Blind passed a resolution calling for removal of the disclaimer against the use by blind people.

"This resolution emphasized the real–world importance of rigorous investigation of the accuracy of insulin dosage by visually impaired people using non-visual techniques," Williams reported.

As a diabetes educator, Williams knew visually impaired people were successfully using the pen with accuracy but needed the scientific research to support her observations.

During the 2009 National Federation for the Blind meeting in Detroit, Williams recruited 30 individuals who have vision problems that prevent them from reading printed instructions. They were given complete recorded instructions. She also enrolled 30 individuals from Cleveland, Ohio, who could see and read the pen's directions.

Each participant first read instructions or listened to an audiotape about how to use the insulin pen. The instructions were essentially the same as those included on printed sheets in the insulin pen packaging, modified slightly to include tactile methods for using the pens. Then each participant measured out 10 doses of insulin and injected them into a rubber ball. The ball was weighed immediately before and after the insulin injections for dosage accuracy.

Generally there was little difference between the two groups in the accuracy of 600 dosages of insulin—although Williams reports the visually impaired group did slightly better.

For people with sight problems, measuring and administering insulin presents challenges, since most tools and techniques were designed assuming that people have good vision.

"People with visual impairment can manage their own insulin accurately when they have access to nonvisual tools and techniques and complete instructions in a format they can use," Williams said.

"This study raises questions about the validity of the disclaimer that pharmaceutical companies put on the labels," Williams said.

She added that if studies are designed correctly, people with disabilities can participate in research projects that impact their health.

The study was funded by the American Association of Diabetes Educators/Sigma Theta Tau International Research grant.

Williams’ research also was supported during her postdoctoral fellowship through a National Institutes of Health grant.

Case Western Reserve University is among the nation's leading research institutions. Founded in 1826 and shaped by the unique merger of the Case Institute of Technology and Western Reserve University, Case Western Reserve is distinguished by its strengths in education, research, service, and experiential learning. Located in Cleveland, Case Western Reserve offers nationally recognized programs in the Arts and Sciences, Dental Medicine, Engineering, Law, Management, Medicine, Nursing, and Social Work.

Susan Griffith | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.case.edu

Further reports about: Diabetes Medicine Nursing Science TV information technology insulin pen

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Smart Data Transformation – Surfing the Big Wave
02.12.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Informationstechnik FIT

nachricht Climate change could outpace EPA Lake Champlain protections
18.11.2016 | University of Vermont

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Electron highway inside crystal

Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.

Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers identify potentially druggable mutant p53 proteins that promote cancer growth

09.12.2016 | Life Sciences

Scientists produce a new roadmap for guiding development & conservation in the Amazon

09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Satellites, airport visibility readings shed light on troops' exposure to air pollution

09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>