Home Glucose Monitoring Offers No Benefit to Patients Not Using Insulin
Am Fam Physician. 2017 Dec 15;96(12):online.
Does home monitoring of blood glucose levels improve glycemic control or quality of life in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus who are not using insulin?
Home glucose monitoring of patients in primary care does not improve A1C scores or quality of life over one year in patients who are not taking insulin. Patients did not feel more empowered or satisfied as a result of home monitoring, nor did they have fewer hypoglycemic episodes, and their physicians did not seem to respond to the home glucose levels to any beneficial effect. (Level of Evidence = 1b)
These researchers identified adults (average age = 61 years) with type 2 diabetes not treated with insulin and who had A1C levels between 6.5% and 9.5%. Most of the patients (75%) monitored their blood glucose levels at home before the study but had not been treated by an endocrinologist. The 450 patients (who had type 2 diabetes for an average of eight years) were randomly assigned, using concealed allocation, to one of three arms: (1) no home glucose monitoring; (2) standard once-daily monitoring; and (3) enhanced once-daily monitoring, consisting of glucose values immediately reported to the patient plus automated, tailored messaging delivered via the meter. The patients' physicians were given the home glucose monitoring results but were not asked to follow a specific protocol to respond to them. After both six months and one year, there were no differences, on average, among the groups in A1C levels, hospitalizations, episodes of severe hypoglycemia, or quality-of-life scores. Similarly, there was no difference among groups in treatment satisfaction or feelings of empowerment.
Study design: Randomized controlled trial (nonblinded)
Funding source: Government
Setting: Outpatient (any)
Reference: Young LA, Buse JB, Weaver MA, et al.; Monitor Trial Group. Glucose self-monitoring in non-insulin-treated patients
POEMs (patient-oriented evidence that matters) are provided by EssentialEvidence Plus, a point-of-care clinical decision support system published by Wiley-Blackwell. For more information, please see http://www.essentialevidenceplus.com. Copyright Wiley-Blackwell. Used with permission.
For definitions of levels of evidence used in POEMs, see http://www.essentialevidenceplus.com/product/ebm_loe.cfm?show=oxford.
To subscribe to a free podcast of these and other POEMs that appear in AFP, search in iTunes for “POEM of the Week” or go to http://goo.gl/3niWXb.
This series is coordinated by Sumi Sexton, MD, Associate Deputy Editor.
A collection of POEMs published in AFP is available at http://www.aafp.org/afp/poems.
Want to use this article elsewhere? Get Permissions