4:50 - 5:10 pmSaturday, September 17
LK 130
Real-time continuous glucose monitoring facilitates safety in older adults with type 1 diabetes: a qualitative analysis
LK 130
Real-time continuous glucose monitoring facilitates safety in older adults with type 1 diabetes: a qualitative analysis
University of Utah College of Nursing
BackgroundOlder adults with long-standing type 1 diabetes have a higher risk for hypoglycemia and hypoglycemia unawareness. Hypoglycemia can be dangerous, even fatal, and may result in concomitant falls,... Read more

Description

Background
Older adults with long-standing type 1 diabetes have a higher risk for hypoglycemia and hypoglycemia unawareness. Hypoglycemia can be dangerous, even fatal, and may result in concomitant falls, cardiac events, seizures, and/or hospitalizations. Tactics to avoid hypoglycemia in older adults are critical to promote safety and wellbeing. Technological Advances in the Treatment of Type 1 Diabetes identifies the importance of Real-Time Continuous Glucose Monitoring (RT-CGM) in effectively supporting diabetes management and quality of life in adult and pediatric populations. However, little is known about older adults and RT-CGM use. The purpose of this study was to identify why RT-CGM was important for diabetes management in both current and former RT-CGM users ≥ 65 years of age.

Method
A convenience sample of older adults with type 1 diabetes participated in one of two online surveys about RT-CGM from January 1-31, 2016. The first survey queried individuals who were current RT-CGM users. The second survey examined individuals who were not currently using RT-CGM, but had a desire to do so. Descriptive data were analyzed by calculating numbers and percentages to describe the findings. A qualitative content analysis was conducted for the open-ended responses. Responses were coded and examined for themes both within and across coding categories. We organized our analysis into a codebook. The codebook was audited by two independent researchers.

Results
A total of 22 participants (males = 11, females = 11) were included in this study, those using RT-CGM (n=11) and those who were not using RT-CGM, but desired to do so (n=11). Six participants who were not current RT-CGM users had used RT-CGM technology in the past. Participants were Caucasian, mean age 70 (± 4.7) years, diabetes duration 59 (±9.6) years, and self-identified as high technology users. Three major themes were identified: 1) RT-CGM facilitates safety by preventing hypoglycemia, 2) RT-CGM improves quality of life, and 3) access is a barrier to RT-CGM use. RT-CGM alarms and glucose trends allowed older adults to successfully avoid hypoglycemia. Participants’ ability to avoid hypoglycemia decreased worry about dying in their sleep or driving a vehicle, providing an overall sense of relief. Participants who were previous RT-CGM users, and now not using this technology, noted an increase in hypoglycemia-related concerns. Further, 88% who were not using RT-CGM experienced severe hypoglycemia events that required the assistance of another person in the last 12 months; hypoglycemia events often resulted in a fall or inability to operate a vehicle. Less worry about hypoglycemia and improved metabolic control from extremes in blood glucose levels supported quality of life.

Conclusion
To our knowledge, this is the first study to that examined the impact of RT-CGM among an older population with type 1 diabetes. RT-CGM improves safety and quality of life in older adults with type 1 diabetes by preventing hypoglycemia and associated injury and worry. Older adults without access to RT-CGM experience more severe hypoglycemia events that negatively affect their safety and quality of life. Improving access to RT-CGM in older adults is critical to improving health and safety, and demands more attention from stakeholders in diabetes care, including healthcare providers and insurers. RT-CGM is highly effective in younger patients with type 1 diabetes. This is a first look at an understudied population, older adults with type 1 diabetes, and how they can benefit from RT-CGM technology. Future RT-CGM research with older adults with and without comorbidities is needed.

Contact Us

We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.

Not readable? Change text. captcha txt

Start typing and press Enter to search