Diabetes Australia’s new Position Statement: glucose monitoring

Prof Jane Speight discusses why it was important to her to develop this.

by Prof Jane Speight

Glucose management is one of the most important parts of managing diabetes and preventing complications. It is also an area that is rapidly changing and can be confusing for people with diabetes – and for some health professionals, who are not specialists in diabetes management. This is because glucose self-monitoring technologies are evolving rapidly, the evidence is growing and changing, and policies affecting subsidies have also changed recently.

Diabetes Australia’s new position statement on glucose self-monitoring in adults with type 1 and type 2 diabetes is designed to give people with diabetes the information they need to decide the type of glucose self-monitoring that is right for them. It explains the technologies available, the pros and cons and the evidence for each.  When Prof Jane Speight was invited to get involved and chair the Expert Advisory Group developing the position statement, she was delighted.

Glucose self-monitoring is not a simple behaviour, in fact it is quite complex. Not only does it rely on the person knowing about the benefits of monitoring but it also relies on them knowing what to do with the readings. But knowledge alone is not enough, people need the skills and motivation to do it, and the support and encouragement from their healthcare professionals. With all the changes and controversies in this area, it is really important for people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes to know what is available to them, what the evidence is, and what are the pros and cons of each, so they can make informed decisions about what type of monitoring would suit them. They also need to know that where subsidies don’t currently exist, Diabetes Australia continues to advocate actively to government to increase access.

The fundamental philosophy that underpins the position statement is this: “Diabetes Australia believes that every person with diabetes should be able to access and use technologies that help them manage their diabetes to the best of their ability, to protect their health and quality of life”. This is so important because it’s not enough to help people with diabetes to live longer lives, they also deserve to live better lives. For many people, the latest glucose self-monitoring technologies are life-changing.

The position statement was launched at the Australian Diabetes Society / Australian Diabetes Educators Association Annual Scientific Meeting in Perth on 30 August, and Prof Jane Speight also spoke about it at the Roche Educator Day on 29 August.

The statement provides general information. People with diabetes should always consult their healthcare professional to discuss their own diabetes care. The statement does not provide recommendations for children/ young people with diabetes or women with gestational diabetes.