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Do‐it‐yourself continuous glucose monitoring in people aged 16 to 69 years with type 1 diabetes: A qualitative study

Abstract
Aims: In many countries, real-time continuous glucose monitoring (rt- CGM) is not funded, and cost presents a barrier to access. A do-it-yourself conversion of intermittently scanned CGM (DIY- CGM) is a cheaper alternative. This qualitative study aimed to explore user experiences with DIY- CGM in people aged 16 to 69 years with type 1 diabetes (T1D). Methods: Convenience sampling was used to recruit participants for semi-structured virtual interviews exploring experiences of DIY- CGM use. Participants were recruited after completing the intervention arm of a crossover randomised controlled trial that evaluated DIY- CGM versus intermittently scanned CGM (isCGM). Participants were previously naive to DIY- CGM and rt- CGM but not isCGM. The DIY- CGM intervention consisted of a Bluetooth bridge connected to isCGM, adding rt- CGM functionality over 8 weeks. Interviews were transcribed, then thematic analysis was performed. Results: Interviews were with 12 people aged 16 to 65 years, with T1D: mean age ± SD 43 ±14 years; baseline mean HbA1c ± SD 60 mmol/mol ± 9.9 (7.6 ± 0.9%) and time in range 59.8% ± 14.8%. Participants perceived that using DIY- CGM improved both glycaemic control and aspects of quality of life. Alarm and trend functionality allowed participants to perceive reduced glycaemic variability overnight and following meals. The addition of a smartwatch increased discrete access to glucose information. There was a high degree of trust in DIY- CGM. Challenges while using DIY- CGM included signal loss during vigorous exercise, alarm fatigue and short battery life. Conclusions: This study suggests that for users, DIY- CGM appears to be an acceptable alternative method of rt- CGM.
Type
Journal Article
Type of thesis
Series
Citation
Date
2023-06-18
Publisher
Wiley
Degree
Supervisors
Rights
© 2023 The Authors. This is an open-access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License.