Real-world use of self-monitoring of blood glucose in people with type 2 diabetes: an urgent need for improvement

the AMD Annals-SMBG Study Group

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aims: To assess use of self-monitoring of blood glucose (SMBG) in type 2 diabetes (T2DM) in the context of a continuous quality improvement initiative (AMD Annals). Methods: 14 quality-of-care indicators were developed, including frequency of SMBG, fasting blood glucose (FBG), and post-prandial glucose (PPG) levels, and hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia episodes. Clinical data and SMBG values downloaded from any glucose meter were obtained from electronic medical records. The most frequently used glucose-lowering treatment regimens were identified and the indicators were assessed separately by regimen. Results: Overall, 21 Italian centers and 13,331 patients (accounting for 35,657 HbA1c tests and 8.44 million SMBG values collected during 2014 and 2015) were included in the analysis; 11 therapeutic regimens were selected. Patients in regimens not including insulin performed 15–23 measurements per patient-month, those treated with basal insulin 32.1 tests/patient-month, and those treated with basal and short-acting insulin 53–58 tests/patient-month. In all treatment regimens, PPG measurements represented a minority of all tests; pre-breakfast measurements accounted for about 50% of all FBG values. Mean FBG levels exceeded 130 mg/dl in 49.3–88.3% of the cases in the different treatment regimens, while PPG levels were over 140 mg/dl in 46.7–81.0%. From 5.7 to 32.7%, patients in the different regimens had at least one episode of hypoglycemia (< 70 mg/dl), while from 3.7 to 47.7% had at least one episode of hyperglycemia (> 300 mg/dl). Conclusions: SMBG is underutilized in patients with T2DM treated or not with insulin. In all treatment groups, PPG is seldom investigated. Poor metabolic control and rates of hyper- and hypoglycemia deserve consideration in all treatment groups.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1059-1066
Number of pages8
JournalActa Diabetologica
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2018


  • Adherence
  • Benchmarking
  • Quality of care
  • Self-monitoring blood glucose
  • Type 2 diabetes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology


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