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Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2005 Apr 18;(2):CD005060.

Self-monitoring of blood glucose in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus who are not using insulin.

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  • 1Institute for Research in Extramural Medicine, VU University Medical Center, van der Boechorststraat 7, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 1081 BT.



Self-monitoring of blood glucose (SMBG) has been found to be effective for patients with type 1 diabetes and for patients with type 2 diabetes using insulin. There is much debate on the effectiveness of SMBG as a tool in the self-management for patients with type 2 diabetes who are not using insulin.


The objective of this review was to assess the effects of SMBG in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus who are not using insulin.


Studies were obtained from searches of multiple electronic bibliographic databases supplemented with hand searches of references of retrieved articles. Date of last search: September 2004.


We included randomised controlled trails investigating the effects of SMBG compared with usual care and/or with self-monitoring of urine glucose in patients with type 2 diabetes who where not using insulin. Included studies should have used at least one of the following outcome measures: glycaemic control, quality of life, well-being, patient satisfaction, or hypoglycaemic episodes.


Two reviewers independently extracted data from included studies and assessed study quality. Data from the studies were compared to decide whether they were sufficiently homogeneous to pool in a meta-analysis.


Six randomised controlled trials were included in the review. Four trials compared SMBG with usual care, one trial compared SMBG with self-monitoring of urine glucose and there was one three-armed trial comparing SMBG with self-monitoring of urine glucose and usual care. Because of the differences in patient characteristics, interventions and outcomes between the studies, it was not possible to perform a meta-analysis. The methodological quality of studies was low. Two of the six studies reported a significant lowering effect of self-monitoring of blood glucose on HbA1c. However, one of these studies had a co-intervention with education on diet and lifestyle. There were few data on the effects of other outcomes and these effects were not statistically significant.


From this review we concluded that self-monitoring of blood glucose might be effective in improving glycaemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes who are not using insulin. To assess the potential beneficial effects of SMBG in these patients a large and well-designed randomised controlled trial is required. This long-term trial should also investigate patient-related outcomes like quality of life, well-being and patient satisfaction, and provide adequate education to the patient to allow SMBG to be effective.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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