The Barbados Insulin Matters (BIM) study: Barriers to insulin therapy among a population-based sample of people with type 2 diabetes in the Caribbean island of Barbados.


AIM: The purpose of this study was to document in people with type 2 diabetes (T2DM) in Barbados, attitudes and beliefs that may result in psychological insulin resistance. METHODS: A representative, population-based, sample of 175 eligible people with T2DM 25 years of age and over was surveyed by telephone. The 20-item insulin treatment appraisal scale (ITAS) was administered (score range 20 to 100 for positive to negative perceptions). RESULTS: 117 people participated (67% response rate, 32% male, mean age 66 years, 90% Black, 22% on insulin). Of non-responders, 52 were not contactable and 6 were difficult to communicate with. Negative perceptions about insulin use included - meant a worsening of diabetes (68%), would worry family (63%), feared self-injection (58%), meant a failure in self-management (57%), injections were painful (54%), would be seen as being sicker (46%), increased hypoglycaemia risk (38%), required effort (34%), causes weight gain (27%), causes a deterioration in health (14%), and would have to give up enjoyable activities (10%). Positive perceptions were - helps good glycaemic control (78%), would prevent complications (61%) and improves health (58%). Mean total ITAS score (61.6, SD = 7.7) was lower for those on insulin compared to those not on insulin (53.7 vs. 63.8, p < 0.0001). Sex, age and diabetes diagnosis duration were not significant predictors of ITAS score. CONCLUSIONS: Multiple factors related to patient beliefs and attitudes need to be considered and addressed when initiating insulin in order to minimise psychological insulin resistance and delay. Patients using insulin had less negative perceptions than those not on insulin.

Journal of clinical & translational endocrinology