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Development of a New Tool to Assess Bolus Calculation and Carbohydrate Estimation

, : Development of a New Tool to Assess Bolus Calculation and Carbohydrate Estimation. Diabetes Technology & Therapeutics 18(3): 194-199

Carbohydrate estimation and bolus calculation are two important skills for handling intensive insulin therapy and effectively using bolus calculators. Structured assessment of both skills is lacking. A new tool for the assessment of skills in carbohydrate estimation and bolus calculation was developed and evaluated. A new assessment tool (SMART) was developed that included 10 items for bolus calculation and 12 items for carbohydrate estimation. In total, 411 patients on intensive insulin treatment were recruited. Different parameters of glycemic control were used as validity criteria. The SMART tool achieved good reliability for the assessment of bolus calculation (Cronbach's α = 0.78) and sufficient reliability for the assessment of carbohydrate estimation (Cronbach's α = 0.67). A good bolus calculation skill was significantly associated with lower glycated hemoglobin values (r = -0.27), lower mean blood glucose levels (r = -0.29), and higher fluctuation of blood glucose control (r = -0.43). A good carbohydrate estimation skill was significantly associated with a lower frequency of severe hyperglycemia (r = -0.27) and a higher frequency of euglycemia (r = 0.26). SMART is a reliable and valid tool for the assessment of both skills. Bolus calculation as well as carbohydrate estimation was associated with glycemic control. With the help of SMART, important skills for the management of intensive insulin therapy can be assessed separately. Thus, in clinical practice patients in need of assistance from a bolus calculator can be identified.


PMID: 26907638

DOI: 10.1089/dia.2015.0292

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