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Diabetes Technol Ther. 2014 Nov;16(11):742-6. doi: 10.1089/dia.2014.0072. Epub 2014 Sep 8.

Nurses' perceptions and satisfaction with the use of insulin pen devices compared with insulin vial and syringes in an inpatient setting.

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1 Mercer University College of Pharmacy , Atlanta, Georgia .



The purpose of this study was to compare nurses' perceptions and satisfaction with the use of insulin pen devices versus vial and syringes for insulin delivery in an inpatient setting.


The study used a descriptive design using self-report surveys. Nurses rated their perceptions on a 4-point Likert scale (from 1=strongly disagree to 4=strongly agree) on the ease of use, ease to teach patients, confidence and comfort in use, perceived time efficiency, safety of use, risk of needle sticks, and overall satisfaction and preference with use of each insulin delivery device.


In total, 139 (95%) nurses from nine nursing units at one hospital participated in this study. Compared with vial and syringe, nurses felt insulin pens were easier to use to measure insulin dose (mean±SD, 3.7±0.5 vs. 3.1±0.7; P<0.001), were easier to teach patients to use (3.5±0.6 vs. 2.8±0.7; P<0.001), provided more confidence in measuring insulin dose (3.7±0.5 vs. 3.4±0.6, P<0.001), saved on administration and preparation time (3.6±0.5 vs. 2.3±0.8; P<0.001), reduced the risk of giving a wrong dose of insulin (3.2±0.8 vs. 2.2±0.7; P<0.001), and reduced the risk of needle sticks (3.5±0.7 vs. 2.1±0.8; P<0.001). Overall, a majority of nurses preferred the use of insulin pens to vial and syringes in an inpatient setting (83% vs. 15%; P<0.05).


Nurses felt more comfortable and confident with the use of insulin pens compared with vial and syringes and perceived insulin pens to be a safer alternative for both patients and themselves.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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