Vol 8, No 8-9 (2007): Practical Diabetology
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Published online: 2007-09-08

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Systematic literature review: quality of life associated with insulin pump use in type 1 diabetes

K.D. Barnard, C.E. Lloyd, T.C. Skinner
Diabetologia Praktyczna 2007;8(8-9):301-314.


AIM. To review systematically the published literature addressing whether continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion (CSII) provides any quality of life benefits to people with type 1 diabetes.
METHODS. Electronic databases and published references were searched and a consultation with two professional groups was undertaken to identify re levant studies published up to July 2005. A multistep selection process was then undertaken to identify those articles which met the specific selection criteria, which were then critically reviewed.
RESULTS. Eighty-four potential relevant articles were identified from examination of titles and abstracts published during the specified time frame. Of these, 28 articles were retrieved in full text, of which 17 fulfilled the specific criteria for inclusion. Mixed results emerged from existing literature. Of the five randomized controlled trials, three reported mixed results, with one study reporting quality of life benefits and one reporting no evidence of quality of life benefits.
CONCLUSIONS. There is conflicting evidence reported in the various studies on the quality of life benefits of CSII in type 1 diabetes. Existing research is flawed, making a judgement about the quality of life benefits of insulin pump use difficult. There is no strong evidence against quality of life benefits associated with CSII or otherwise, with poor methodology and inconsistent assessment of quality of life clouding the issue. The lack of reported benefit is probably a function of this rather than pump therapy not offering any quality of life benefits.

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