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Descriptions of health states associated with increasing severity and frequency of hypoglycemia: a patient-level perspective

Authors Harris SB, Khunti K , Landin-Olsson M, Galbo-Jørgensen CB, Bøgelund M, Chubb B , Gundgaard J, Evans M

Received 15 April 2013

Accepted for publication 18 June 2013

Published 16 September 2013 Volume 2013:7 Pages 925—936


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 4

Stewart B Harris,1 Kamlesh Khunti,2 Mona Landin-Olsson,3 Claus B Galbo-Jørgensen,4 Mette Bøgelund,4 Barrie Chubb,5 Jens Gundgaard,6 Marc Evans7

1Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, Western University, London, ON, Canada; 2Diabetes Research Unit, University of Leicester, Leicester, UK; 3Department of Medicine, Helsingborg Hospital, Lund University, Lund, Sweden; 4Incentive, Holte Stationsvej, Holte, Denmark; 5EU Health Economics and Outcomes Research, Novo Nordisk Ltd, Crawley, UK; 6Health Economics and HTA, Novo Nordisk A/S, Søborg, Denmark; 7Department of Diabetes, University Hospital Llandough, Cardiff, UK

Aims: We sought to develop descriptions of health states associated with daytime and nocturnal hypoglycemia in a structured fashion from the patient's perspective under different combinations of severity and frequency of hypoglycemic events.
Methods: An expert meeting followed by two patient focus groups was used to develop comprehensive descriptions of acute consequences of severe and non-severe, daytime and nocturnal hypoglycemia. Patients with diabetes (type 1 = 85, type 2 = 162) from a survey panel then validated these descriptions and assessed how often they worried and took different actions to prevent hypoglycemia. Severity and frequency of hypoglycemia were compared with respect to how often people worried and took actions to prevent an event. The effect of hypoglycemia on 35 different life activities was quantitatively compared for patients who had and had not experienced a severe hypoglycemic event.
Results: At least 95% of respondents agreed that the detailed patient-level descriptions of health states accurately reflected their experience of severe and non-severe, daytime and nocturnal hypoglycemia, thereby validating these descriptions. Respondents who had experienced a severe hypoglycemic event were generally more adversely affected in their worries and actions and life events than those who experienced only non-severe events; those who experienced nocturnal events were more affected than those who experienced only daytime events.
Conclusion: The negative psychosocial consequences and undesirable compensatory behaviors arising from hypoglycemia underscore the importance of preventing severe episodes, particularly severe nocturnal episodes. These validated descriptions for hypoglycemia from the patient's perspective may also help inform future qualitative and quantitative research.

Keywords: hypoglycemia, health states, diabetes, quality of life

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