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Title: Exploring the application of self-monitoring of blood glucose results in insulin-treated diabetes : a case study of patients, their support persons and health care practitioners
Author: Cameron, Dawn M.
ISNI:       0000 0004 6349 4175
Awarding Body: University of Stirling
Current Institution: University of Stirling
Date of Award: 2016
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Self-monitoring of blood glucose (SMBG) can be effective in preventing poor outcomes associated with diabetes mellitus but previous research has identified that SMBG is not being undertaken in line with current recommendations. Guidance informs health professionals to educate patients on how they should self-monitor but very little is know about how patients self-monitor in the real world. In this thesis, a quantitative scoping study is first presented. This study used routine data sources to examine the levels and patterns of self-montoring in different population groups and then proceeded to a larger qualitative study to explore and question what patients are doing in practice in relation to self-monitoring, and why. This involved a qualitative multi-case study of patients, their support people, health care practitioners (HCPs) and patient diaries. Ten individuals and their nominated support people and HCPs formed ten cases among whom 21 in-depth semi-structured interviews were carried out and six patient diaries analysed. The exploratory work was framed around Stones’ version of structuration theory and uncovered a complex linkage of individual motives for monitoring, associated responses and behaviours in relation to the motive, and the underpinning attitudes and beliefs behind the motive. The following key points emerged from the analysis. People have differing relationships with their diabetes and this links with the level of engagement they have with their condition. Resistance to support people and health services was commonly observed. Experiences of diabetes reviews were important, with an identified need for them to feel more like collaboration and less like surveillance. A significant factor was the gaps and limitations in knowledge and understanding around diabetes for patients, relatives, support people and HCPs; and, finally, there was a noted maintenance of blood glucose levels higher than recommended through SMBG in several participants, which stemmed from a fear of hypoglycemic episode. The analysis concluded that although self-monitoring of blood glucose, in theory, and when considered in isolation, is a simple process to undertake, its application in the wider context of self-management and the individual is much more complicated. The process is influenced by many complex factors and generates a variety of responses and behaviours, some not in keeping with good diabetes self-management. There was a significant lack of person-centered approaches to managing diabetes which was, in part, due to existing health systems and processes. Therefore, there is a need to raise awareness of the gaps that exist in terms of such approaches as well as the gaps in knowledge and understanding of individuals with diabetes and those caring for and supporting them. In more specific terms, it is essential to develop and evaluate individual approaches to patients in relation to their self-monitoring and associated self-management in the context of their own lives, which involves the assessment of engagement and understanding around self-monitoring.
Supervisor: Evans, J. ; Harris, F. ; Mccaden, L. Sponsor: LifeScan Scotland ; University of Stirling
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Self-monitoring of blood glucose (SMBG) ; Diabetes Mellitus ; Insulin ; Self-management ; Diabetics--Services for ; Blood sugar monitoring ; Diabetes--Treatment