Real-Time Continuous Glucose Monitoring Beneficial But Challenges Remain

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Caregivers of adults with type 1 diabetes were more likely to share real-time continuous glucose monitoring data for hypoglycemia than hyperglycemia.
Caregivers of adults with type 1 diabetes were more likely to share real-time continuous glucose monitoring data for hypoglycemia than hyperglycemia.

Although sharing of real-time continuous glucose monitoring (RT-CGM) data can create tension between patients with type 1 diabetes and family members, it can also facilitate greater empowerment and perceptions of safety among both patients and their caregivers, according to a study published in Diabetes Technology & Therapeutics.

Investigators performed a qualitative content analysis of 39 publicly available blogs geared toward the sharing of RT-CGM data. In addition to analyzing the content of the blogs, researchers also assessed a total of 206 associated comments.

Among adults with type 1 diabetes, patients were generally accepting of RT-CGM data sharing with their caregivers and felt a sense of peace knowing that others were taking an active role in their care. In addition, patients with diabetes reportedly slept better as they felt safer in regard to the additional care and support from their remote caregiver or caregivers.

For children with type 1 diabetes, many parents reported that they were able to disturb their child less often with the RT-CGM data sharing, helping their child obtain a better sense of normalcy. In some instances, patients as well as caregivers noted that communication boundaries were necessary to avoid being too intrusive or to avoid creating tension in relationships.

The investigators were unable to determine associations of RT-CGM data sharing outcomes and CGM device or platform, age, or additional demographic data through the blog posts alone. In addition, the researchers suggest that the blog posts may have succumbed to a certain level of bias associated with the intended reader.

Improving healthcare knowledge of the patient-caregiver relationship in RT-CGM data sharing may ultimately "improve the collaborative diabetes management experience, ultimately improving patient outcomes among those sharing RT-CGM data."

Reference

Litchman ML, Allen NA, Colicchio VD, et al. A qualitative analysis of real-time continuous glucose monitoring data sharing with care partners: to share or not to share? [published online November 20, 2017]. Diabetes Technol Ther. doi:10.1089/dia.2017.0285

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