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Diabet Med. 2019 May;36(5):569-577. doi: 10.1111/dme.13873. Epub 2018 Dec 14.

Prospective memory slips are associated with forgetting to take glucose-lowering therapies among adults with diabetes: results from the second Diabetes MILES - Australia (MILES-2) survey.

Trawley S1,2,3, Baptista S2,3,4, Pouwer F2,5, Speight J2,3,6,7.

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The Cairnmillar Institute, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
School of Psychology, Deakin University, Geelong, Victoria, Australia.
The Australian Centre for Behavioural Research in Diabetes, Diabetes Victoria, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
Non Communicable Disease Unit, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
STENO Diabeter Center Odense, Odense University Hospital, Odense, Denmark.
Department of Psychology, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark.
AHP Research, Hornchurch, UK.



Prospective memory has been long considered a fundamental cognitive ability for optimal medication taking, but the role of prospective memory errors (termed 'slips') in diabetes self-care is unclear. Our aim was to examine associations between prospective memory and medication taking in adults with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes mellitus.


Some 901 adults with Type 1 diabetes and 927 with Type 2 diabetes completed a cross-sectional survey focused on the psychological and behavioural aspects of living with diabetes. Respondents reported whether they had forgotten to take their diabetes medication over the previous 14 days.


Twenty-four per cent (n = 220) of adults with Type 1 diabetes and 23% (n = 211) with Type 2 diabetes reported that they had forgotten their medication at least once over the previous 14 days. This was associated with more prospective memory slips in adults with Type 1 diabetes [odds ratio (OR) 1.09, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.05 to 1.13; P < 0.001] and Type 2 diabetes (OR 1.10, 95% CI 1.05 to 1.15; P < 0.001); and with younger age (both groups), insulin pump use (Type 1 diabetes), insulin treatment (Type 2 diabetes), less frequent blood glucose checks (Type 1 diabetes) and higher HbA1c (Type 1 diabetes).


These findings suggest that forgetting medication is relatively common among adults with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, and provide preliminary evidence for its relationship with self-reported prospective memory slips.


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