Management of insulin-treated diabetes in Tasmania
McCarty, DJG and Greenaway, TM and Kamp, MC and Dwyer, T and Zimmet, P, Management of insulin-treated diabetes in Tasmania, Medical Journal of Australia, 170, (7) pp. 312-315. ISSN 0025-729X (1999) [Refereed Article]
Objective: To evaluate patterns of self-management, healthcare utilisation and screening for major complications among Tasmanians with insulin-treated diabetes. Main outcome measures: Frequency of self-monitoring of blood glucose, health care utilisation and screening for diabetic complications. Design and setting: A questionnaire survey of 1517 people listed on the Tasmanian Diabetes Register in 1995-1997. Results: Response rate was 79.5%. Self-monitoring of blood glucose was reported by 98% of respondents, daily self-monitoring by 74%. About 41% of respondents were being managed jointly by GPs and diabetes specialists, 29% solely by GPs and 25% solely by diabetes specialists. Over 96% visited the doctor treating their diabetes more than once a year, but 21% reported they had never visited a diabetes educator and 43% reported they had never visited a dietitian. Most respondents aged ≥ 25 years (90%) reported having an eye examination within the past two years, almost all by an eye specialist. Blood pressure was commonly assessed, but most adults indicated that the doctor treating their diabetes did not routinely examine their feet. Nearly 19% of respondents smoked cigarettes. Conclusions: Some aspects of diabetes self-care and medical care have improved in Tasmania since the 1984 survey (eg, frequency of self-monitoring of blood glucose rose from 50% to 98%). However, our findings suggest that further improvements are needed to increase daily self-monitoring of blood glucose, attendance at diabetes educator and dietitian services, and foot examinations by doctors. Additional efforts are also needed to lower the prevalence of smoking.