Self-monitoring of blood glucose is of limited use in patients with type 2 diabetes who are not using insulin, finds a new analysis.
The Cochrane review looked at 12 randomised controlled trials including 3,259 patients with diabetes not using insulin who self-monitored their blood glucose.
They found only a small statistically significant decrease in HbA1c at six month follow-up – of 0.3% – compared to control groups of patients who did not monitor at all. By 12-months, there was no significant decrease (0.1%) and self-monitoring of blood glucose also showed no significant effects on measures of patient satisfaction, general well-being or health-related quality of life.
The authors concluded that while self-monitoring of blood glucose was effective for patients with type 1 diabetes, and those with type 2 diabetes who are using insulin, there was little to support wider use.
NICE guidelines currently recommend self-monitoring is offered only as an ‘integral part’ of self management education.
Study lead Dr Uriëll Malanda, a GP researcher at the EMGO Institute for Health and Care Research, Amsterdam, Netherlands said: ‘More research is needed to explore the psychological impact of self monitoring blood glucose and its accompanying demands on diabetes specific quality of life and well-being.’