To compare the effectiveness and acceptability of self-monitoring of blood glucose with self-monitoring of urine glucose in adults with newly diagnosed Type 2 diabetes.
We conducted a multi-site cluster randomized controlled trial with practice-level randomization. Participants attended a structured group education programme, which included a module on self-monitoring using blood glucose or urine glucose monitoring. HbA1c and other biomedical measures as well as psychosocial data were collected at 6, 12 and 18 months. A total of 292 participants with Type 2 diabetes were recruited from 75 practices.
HbA1c levels were significantly lower at 18 months than at baseline in both the blood monitoring group [mean (se) -12 (2) mmol/mol; -1.1 (0.2) %] and the urine monitoring group [mean (se) -13 (2) mmol/mol; -1.2 (0.2)%], with no difference between groups [mean difference adjusted for cluster effect and baseline value = -1 mmol/mol (95% CI -3, 2); -0.1% (95% CI -0.3, 0.2)]. Similar improvements were observed for the other biomedical outcomes, with no differences between groups. Both groups showed improvements in total treatment satisfaction, generic well-being, and diabetes-specific well-being, and had a less threatening view of diabetes, with no differences between groups at 18 months. Approximately one in five participants in the urine monitoring arm switched to blood monitoring, while those in the blood monitoring arm rarely switched (18 vs 1% at 18 months; P < 0.001).
Participants with newly diagnosed Type 2 diabetes who attended structured education showed similar improvements in HbA1c levels at 18 months, regardless of whether they were assigned to blood or urine self-monitoring.