Identifying and meeting the challenges of insulin therapy in type 2 diabetes
Christopher Sorli,1,* Michael K Heile2,*
1Billings Clinic Research Center, Billings, MT, USA; 2The Family Medical Group Glenway, Cincinnati, OH, USA
*Both authors contributed equally to this work
Abstract: Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is a chronic illness that requires clinical recognition and treatment of the dual pathophysiologic entities of altered glycemic control and insulin resistance to reduce the risk of long-term micro- and macrovascular complications. Although insulin is one of the most effective and widely used therapeutic options in the management of diabetes, it is used by less than one-half of patients for whom it is recommended. Clinician-, patient-, and health care system-related challenges present numerous obstacles to insulin use in T2DM. Clinicians must remain informed about new insulin products, emerging technologies, and treatment options that have the potential to improve adherence to insulin therapy while optimizing glycemic control and mitigating the risks of therapy. Patient-related challenges may be overcome by actively listening to the patient's fears and concerns regarding insulin therapy and by educating patients about the importance, rationale, and evolving role of insulin in individualized self-treatment regimens. Enlisting the services of Certified Diabetes Educators and office personnel can help in addressing patient-related challenges. Self-management of diabetes requires improved patient awareness regarding the importance of lifestyle modifications, self-monitoring, and/or continuous glucose monitoring, improved methods of insulin delivery (eg, insulin pens), and the enhanced convenience and safety provided by insulin analogs. Health care system-related challenges may be improved through control of the rising cost of insulin therapy while making it available to patients. To increase the success rate of treatment of T2DM, the 2012 position statement from the American Diabetes Association and the European Association for the Study of Diabetes focused on individualized patient care and provided clinicians with general treatment goals, implementation strategies, and tools to evaluate the quality of care.
Keywords: type 2 diabetes, barriers, patient education, individualized therapy, self-management, insulin, insulin analogs, insulin pens, emerging technologies
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