Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Unique Swedish diabetes study shows how insulin pumps impact quality of life

26.03.2013
Being treated for diabetes with an insulin pump, an aid that is attached to the body to provide a continuous supply of insulin, has a strong impact on a person’s quality of life.

The pump can be a lifeline, but also a bothersome shackle. This is shown in a unique long-term study performed at the Academy of Health and Society, Dalarna University, Falun, Sweden in collaboration with the Clinic of Internal Medicine at Falun Hospital as well as Uppsala University and Umeå University.

The finding is part of a larger study where, for four years, researchers followed a group of adults with type-1 diabetes being treated with an insulin pump. The group’s blood glucose levels, in terms of HbA1c, and their satisfaction with the treatment were examined via blood samples and surveys, respectively.

The researchers then continued their long-term monitoring with interviews, after the subjects had been using an insulin pump for more than five years. The qualitative interview method has come to be a more and more important complement to traditional research methods in recent years.
There have only been a few such studies in the world. Qualitative methods yield a good picture of how the individual perceives and deals with his/her everyday life with a life-long disorder.

The results of the interviews evinced a pattern that could be divided into various themes. The insulin pump was perceived to be a lifeline in the sense that it brought greater independence, greater control of the subject’s own life situation, and that life had become normalized. On the other hand, the pump was perceived as being a shackle, meaning that the subject was dependent on the technology, felt stigmatized, and was weighed down by the disease. Among interviewees, some had a generally favorable view of the treatment with an insulin pump, while others oscillated between a favorable and an unfavorable view, with a third group expressing a predominantly negative view. These themes and views could not be related to blood glucose levels, which indicate that it is not enough to measure health based solely on medical examination methods. To get a better understanding of, and a more holistic picture of health and quality of life, it is necessary to analyze narratives from the individual subjects’ own perceptions, both as medical parameters and as health surveys.

In the interviews Janeth Leksell, one of the researchers and a lecturer at the Falun campus of Dalarna University, could hear descriptions of the insulin pump like the following:
- My first step toward better self-esteem
- The pump means freedom and flexibility

But also:
- I like dresses that show your figure, but it’s hard to wear them with a pump. At home I often put the pump in my bra, so I have three breasts.

- The pump can feel like a shackle. You feel you’re locked into something.

Caring staff needs to be conscious of how the insulin pump affects the everyday lives of patients, lives that are not only about diabetes. The findings of this study may provide guidance and a platform for diabetes nurses and physicians when they meet with and try to support patients living with insulin pumps, according to Anna Garmo, the diabetes nurse who directed the study.

Questions: Anna Garmo, Diabetes nurse, Clinic of Internal Medicine, Falun Hospital,
anna.garmo@ltdalarna.se, Mobile: +46 (0)70-227 60 64

Pressofficer Hannes Forsell, hfr@du.se and +46-23 778 116

Publication: Garmo. A, Hörnsten. A, Leksell. J 'The pump was a saviour for me.' Patients' experiences of insulin pump therapy.

Diabet Med, 2013 Feb 8. doi: 10.1111/dme.12155. [Epub ahead of print].

Facts:
46 adults with type-1 diabetes who switched from treatment with multiple-daily injections with insulin pens to an insulin pump were monitored for glycaemic control and treatment satisfaction, Garmo A, Garmo H, Ärnlöv J, Leksell J. Long-term treatment effects of insulin pump therapy. Pract Diab Int 2011; 28: 295–299. The authors conclude that both glycaemic control and treatment satisfaction improved and remained at the improved level during the four-year follow-up period, following the switch to an insulin pump.

In the spring of 2009, 16 of the participants in the earlier study were interviewed, all having used an insulin pump for 5–9 years. At the time of the interview, the subjects were aged 29–65 years. The purpose was to find out their perceptions of insulin pump treatment in everyday life. The interviews took 30–45 minutes and were analyzed using qualitative content analysis as laid down by Graneheim & Lundman.

The findings show that the pump can be experienced both as a lifeline and as a shackle. Good or unsatisfactory glycaemic control does not seem to have any association with these perceptions.

The subjects could be divided into three groups. HbA1c in the group that had a positive view of insulin pump treatment varied between 41-70 mmol/mol. In the group with a negative view, HbA1c varied between 32-72 mmol/mol, and in the group with more mixed views, HbA1c varied between 47-68 mmol/mol. However, the number of subjects is so limited that no far-reaching conclusions can be drawn. Nevertheless, the findings do indicate that analysis of glycaemic control does not reveal everything about a patient’s quality of life.

Hannes Forsell | idw
Further information:
http://www.vr.se
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23398606

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Drone vs. truck deliveries: Which create less carbon pollution?
31.05.2017 | University of Washington

nachricht New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)

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: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

Im Focus: Optoelectronic Inline Measurement – Accurate to the Nanometer

Germany counts high-precision manufacturing processes among its advantages as a location. It’s not just the aerospace and automotive industries that require almost waste-free, high-precision manufacturing to provide an efficient way of testing the shape and orientation tolerances of products. Since current inline measurement technology not yet provides the required accuracy, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT is collaborating with four renowned industry partners in the INSPIRE project to develop inline sensors with a new accuracy class. Funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the project is scheduled to run until the end of 2019.

New Manufacturing Technologies for New Products

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A new technique isolates neuronal activity during memory consolidation

22.06.2017 | Life Sciences

Plant inspiration could lead to flexible electronics

22.06.2017 | Materials Sciences

A rhodium-based catalyst for making organosilicon using less precious metal

22.06.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>