Conversations and Reactions Around Severe Hypoglycemia Study: Results of Hypoglycemia Experiences in Canadian Adults With Insulin-Treated Diabetes and Their Caregivers
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OBJECTIVES: The Conversations and Reactions Around Severe Hypoglycemia cross-sectional study was conducted to better understand the severe hypoglycemia experiences in persons with diabetes (PWD) and their caregivers (CGs). METHODS: Adults with type 1 or type 2 diabetes and CGs were recruited in 8 countries; Canadian cohort data are reported in this study. Insulin-treated PWD who reported a severe hypoglycemic event within the past 3 years and CGs who care for PWD ≥4 years old and who met the criteria were eligible for the study. Participants completed an online survey about their experience with severe hypoglycemia, its treatment and actions during and after severe hypoglycemia. RESULTS: Of the 324 respondents, 139 (43%) reported discussions about severe hypoglycemia with a health-care provider (HCP) at every visit. During the most recent severe hypoglycemic event, the most common actions taken included ingestion of oral carbohydrates and calling emergency medical services; glucagon was rarely used. Despite many respondents (67%) feeling scared because of the most recent severe hypoglycemic event, only 55% (51% with type 1 and 61% with type 2) discussed this event with an HCP. The event affected the mood/emotional status, physical activities and sleep of PWD and CGs. CONCLUSIONS: Severe hypoglycemia impacts the emotional and physical status of PWD and CGs. Despite this, many respondents did not report discussions about the most recent severe hypoglycemic event with HCPs. Furthermore, <50% of the respondents reported discussions about severe hypoglycemia with HCPs at every visit. Purposeful communication about severe hypoglycemia can help fulfil Diabetes Canada guideline recommendations to review experiences with hypoglycemia among PWD at every visit.
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