Diabetes technologies; An investigation into diabetes-related distress, satisfaction and perceived usability improvements
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Type one diabetes is characterised by the body’s inability to produce insulin. Individuals with type one diabetes use glucometers and insulin pumps to manage their blood sugar levels. With no prospect of a cure, it is important to continuously improve these technologies to ensure optimal diabetes health-management. Studies have found that individuals experience moderate levels of distress regardless of what technology is being used. Previous studies have also found multiple usability issues with medical devices that have had a negative impact on the healthcare provided, including diabetes technologies. The high levels of distress experienced and lack of consideration for usability demonstrates the need to account for the psychosocial outcomes in the development of diabetes technologies. The current study examines the differences in diabetes-related distress, glucometer satisfaction and perception of glucometer usability improvements. A concurrent mixed method, between groups design was employed to examine the differences in diabetes-related distress and glucometer satisfaction based on the type of glucometer being used, as well as investigating how glucometers could be improved to reduce distress from the perspective of individuals with type one diabetes. Results indicated a significant difference in diabetes-related distress based on the type of glucometer being used, but no significant difference was found in glucometer satisfaction. Additionally, the qualitative responses provided some insight into the usability improvements of glucometers to reduce diabetes-related distress. The findings provide further support for the need to incorporate usability studies in the improvement of medical devices.
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