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Explaining engagement in self-monitoring among participants of the DESMOND Self-Monitoring Trial: a qualitative interview study

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journal contribution
posted on 25.06.2015, 16:13 by Helen C. Eborall, Helen M. Dallosso, S. McNicol, J. Speight, Kamlesh Khunti, Melanie J. Davies, S. R. Heller
BACKGROUND: The Diabetes Education and Self-Management for Ongoing and Newly Diagnosed (DESMOND) Self-monitoring Trial reported that people with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes attending community-based structured education and randomized to self-monitoring of blood glucose (SMBG) or urine monitoring had comparable improvements in biomedical outcomes, but differences in satisfaction with, and continued use of monitoring method, well-being and perceived threat from diabetes. OBJECTIVES: To explore experiences of SMBG and urine monitoring following structured education. We specifically addressed the perceived usefulness of each monitoring method and the associated well-being. METHODS: Qualitative semi-structured interviews with 18 adults with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes participating in the DESMOND Self-monitoring Trial (SMBG, N = 10; urine monitoring, N = 8) ~12 months into the trial. Analysis was informed by the constant comparative approach. RESULTS: Interviewees reported SMBG as accurate, convenient and useful. Declining use was explained by having established a pattern of managing blood glucose with less frequent monitoring or lack of feedback or encouragement from health care professionals. Many initially positive views of urine monitoring progressively changed due to perceived inaccuracy, leading some to switch to SMBG. Perceiving diabetes as less serious was attributable to lack of symptoms, treatment with diet alone and-in the urine-monitoring group-consistently negative readings. Urine monitoring also provided less visible evidence of diabetes and of the effect of behaviour on glucose. CONCLUSIONS: The findings highlight the importance for professionals of considering patients' preferences when using self-monitoring technologies, including how these change over time, when supporting the self-care behaviours of people with type 2 diabetes.


This study was funded as part of the DESMOND self-monitoring trial by Diabetes UK (BDA: RD 05/3233) secured by a joint team from the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust and Sheffield University. The study was sponsored by University Hospitals of Leicester. HMD, KK and MJD acknowledge support from the National Institute for Health Research Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care – East Midlands (NIHR CLAHRC – EM), the Leicester Clinical Trials Unit and the NIHR LeicesterLoughborough Diet, Lifestyle and Physical Activity Biomedical Research Unit, which is a partnership between University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, Loughborough University and the University of Leicester.



Family Practice, 2015, 32 (5), pp. 596-602

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/Organisation/COLLEGE OF MEDICINE, BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES AND PSYCHOLOGY/School of Medicine/Department of Health Sciences


AM (Accepted Manuscript)

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Family Practice


Oxford University Press (OUP)





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