By: Jen Blackstock
A new study has proven that use of a blood glucose meter with advanced features, when paired with diabetes education, more effectively manages blood glucose than using a basic feature meter. This information was presented at the recent 46th European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) Annual Meeting in Stockholm, Sweden.
The study was a six-month, randomized, multicenter prospective clinical outcomes study called ACT (Actions with the CONTOUR® Blood Glucose Meter and Behaviors in Frequent Testers). It was conducted at four clinical sites in the U.S. and evaluated the impact of diabetes education with use of advanced BGM features, versus diabetes education combined with the use of meters with basic features. Advanced features include a meal marker and reminder functions. Investigators also evaluated the influence of SMBG (Self-Management of Blood Glucose) information, motivation, and behavioral skills on measures of glycemic control via survey questions based on the Information-Motivation-Behavioral Skills (IMB) model.
As many with diabetes already know, simply remembering to test blood sugar levels is a major obstacle, especially both before AND after meals. At the end of this study, about one quarter of participants (24 percent in the basic group, 23 percent in the advanced group) said that remembering to test their blood sugar before meals is difficult. However, 55 percent of participants who used basic meters also said that it was difficult to remember to test their blood sugar after meals, versus 23 percent of those who used the advanced meter features. Thus, utilizing the meal marker feature made remembering to test after meals easier.
At the end of the study, more than 61 percent of participants who used the advanced features said they better understood how to make decisions on their own at home. Further 66 percent had more confidence in their meal choices since they started testing pre-meal and Post-meal blood sugars. Seventy-two percent of study participants who used the advanced features said they could use their meters in a more helpful way.
Dr. William Fisher, Distinguished University Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Western Ontario in London, Canada, and co-developer of the IMB model, presented the study. He said, “There is a considerable amount of medical literature about adherence in diabetes, and a wide range of interventions have been shown to have a positive effect on knowledge, frequency, and accuracy of SMBG. Maintaining change in SMBG over time has been variable, however, and may be dependent upon regular reinforcement. What’s been lacking is a well-integrated behavioral science model of factors that influence SMBG adherence. We are gratified to see that the IMB model for understanding and promoting health behavior change has provided evidence of utility in understanding SMBG in diabetes.”
Bayer’s CONTOUR® USB and DIDGET meters were not used in the ACT clinical study. Both meters, however, are based on Bayer’s CONTOUR® system, which was used in the ACT clinical study.