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Diabet Med. 2016 Feb;33(2):243-51. doi: 10.1111/dme.12879. Epub 2015 Sep 8.

Who gains clinical benefit from using insulin pump therapy? A qualitative study of the perceptions and views of health professionals involved in the Relative Effectiveness of Pumps over MDI and Structured Education (REPOSE) trial.

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Centre for Population Health Sciences, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK.
Clinical Trials Research Unit, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK.
The Sheffield Diabetes and Endocrine Centre, Northern General Hospital, Sheffield, UK.
Department of Diabetes, Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK.
Department of General Practice, University College Cork, Ireland.
Unit of Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK.



To explore health professionals' views about insulin pump therapy [continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion (CSII)] and the types of individuals they thought would gain greatest clinical benefit from using this treatment.


In-depth interviews with staff (n = 18) who delivered the Relative Effectiveness of Pumps Over MDI and Structured Education (REPOSE) trial. Data were analysed thematically.


Staff perceived insulin pumps as offering a better self-management tool to some individuals due to the drip feed of insulin, the ability to alter basal rates and other advanced features. However, staff also noted that, because of the diversity of features on offer, CSII is a more technically complex therapy to execute than multiple daily injections. For this reason, staff described how, alongside clinical criteria, they had tended to select individuals for CSII in routine clinical practice based on their perceptions about whether they possessed the personal and psychological attributes needed to make optimal use of pump technology. Staff also described how their assumptions about personal and psychological suitability had been challenged by working on the REPOSE trial and observing individuals make effective use of CSII who they would not have recommended for this type of therapy in routine clinical practice.


Our findings add to those studies that highlight the difficulties of using patient characteristics and variables to predict clinical success using CSII. To promote equitable access to CSII, attitudinal barriers and prejudicial assumptions amongst staff about who is able to make effective use of CSII may need to be addressed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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