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From Wary Wearers to d-Embracers: Personas of Readiness to Use Diabetes Devices

Diabetes devices such as insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) are associated with improved health and quality of life in adults with type 1 diabetes (T1D). However, uptake remains low. The aim of this study was to develop different “personas” of adults with T1D in relation to readiness to adopt new diabetes technology. Participants were 1498 T1D Exchange participants who completed surveys on barriers to uptake, technology attitudes, and other psychosocial variables. HbA1c data was available from the T1D Exchange for 30% of the sample. K-means cluster analyses grouped the sample by device barriers and attitudes. The authors assigned descriptive labels based on cluster characteristics. ANOVAs and chi-square tests assessed group differences by demographic and psychosocial variables (eg, diabetes duration, diabetes distress). Analyses yielded five distinct personas. The d-Embracers (54% of participants) endorsed few barriers to device use and had the highest rates of device use, lowest HbA1c, and were the least distressed. The Free Rangers (23%) had the most negative technology attitudes. The Data Minimalists (10%) used pumps but had lower CGM use and did not want more diabetes information. The Wary Wearers (11%) had lower overall device use, were younger, more distressed, endorsed many barriers, and had higher HbA1c. The High Distress (3%) group members were the youngest, had the shortest diabetes duration, reported the most barriers, and were the most distressed. These clinically meaningful personas of device readiness can inform tailored interventions targeting barriers and psychosocial needs to increase device uptake.

Authors: Tanenbaum ML; Adams RN; Iturralde E; Hanes SJ; Barley RC; Naranjo D; Hood KK

J Diabetes Sci Technol. 2018 11;12(6):1101-1107. Epub 2018-08-22.

PubMed abstract

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