- Many older patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D) do not place high importance on guideline-recommended factors for determining whether to start or stop use of diabetes medications.
Why this matters
- Mistaken beliefs about guideline factors for individualizing glycemic targets could present substantial barriers to shared decision-making and contribute to inappropriate treatment goals and care, say researchers.
- Researchers surveyed patients aged ≥65 years with T2D (N=818; mean age, 74.0±6.8 years; 57.3% men; 81.7% white), randomly assigning them to answer questions about either adding or removing medications from diabetes treatment plans.
- Funding: NIH; American Cancer Society; American Heart Association; Bloomberg Philanthropies.
- Patients rated the risk for adverse effects as the most important factor for either adding or stopping a medicine (relative importance on a ratio scale, 22.8 and 25.0, respectively).
- Contrary to guideline recommendations, most patients believed more aggressive treatment was warranted for those with longer disease duration (60.1%), more established complications (77.3%), and a greater number of other health conditions (66.6%).
- Survey scenarios were hypothetical; responses may not fully reflect patient behaviors.
- Results may not apply to some subgroups of older adults, such as those with low health literacy.