Are Professionals Hesitant to Prescribe Insulin?

JANUARY 01, 2006

A recent study showed that a delay in prescribing diabetes drugs or insulin to patients with type 2 diabetes is unwise, because effective control of blood sugar is crucial to averting serious complications. For the study, researchers polled 3790 physicians and nurses in 13 countries regarding their attitudes toward insulin. The study also included 2061 patients with type 2 diabetes who were not taking insulin.

The findings indicated that >50% of the physicians reported "threatening" their patients with requiring insulin if they did not take better control of their blood sugar. Another 50% to 55% of physicians and nurses said that they would delay prescribing insulin until "absolutely necessary." Patients often said that the burden would be on them if taking insulin became necessary. The patients who ate better, exercised more, and worried less about their disease, however, would be less likely to blame themselves. (The findings were reported in Diabetes Care, November 2005.)