Aims: We explored people's reasons for, and experiences of, using bolus advisors to determine insulin doses; and, their likes/dislikes of this technology.
Subjects and methods: 42 people with type 1 diabetes who had received instruction in use of bolus advisors during a structured education course were interviewed post-course and 6 months later. Data were analysed thematically.
Results: Participants who considered themselves to have poor mathematical skills highlighted a gratitude for, and heavy reliance on, advisors. Others liked and chose to use advisors because they saved time and effort calculating doses and/or had a data storage facility. Follow-up interviews highlighted that, by virtue of no longer calculating their doses, participants could become deskilled and increasingly dependent on advisors. Some forgot what their mealtime ratios were; others reported a misperception that, because they were pre-programmed during courses, these parameters never needed changing. Use of data storage facilities could hinder effective review of blood glucose data and some participants reported an adverse impact on glycaemic control.
Discussion: While participants liked and perceived benefits to using advisors, there may be unintended consequences to giving people access to this technology. To promote effective use, on-going input and education from trained health professionals may be necessary. (C) 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.
- Automated bolus advisor
- Type 1 diabetes
- Patient experience
- Qualitative methods
- SUBCUTANEOUS INSULIN INFUSION
- GLYCEMIC CONTROL
- STRUCTURED EDUCATION