Unclear evidence on the type and frequency of education for type 1 starting insulin pumps

A female doctor talking to a patient

Clinical question

In adults with type 1 diabetes starting insulin pump therapy, what is the best approach to education?

The evidence

The reviewers searched for published research between 1998 and 2008.  They found five studies, with widely varying methods and outcome measures.  No overall conclusion could be drawn from the findings.

Appraisal hints

Users of this research are advised to consider:

  • Does the review address a clearly focused question?  If not, this will limit the ability to draw inferences from the findings.
  • Which databases did the reviewers search?  We would expect to find relevant evidence for this type of topic in social care databases as well as biomedical literature.  Could they have missed important studies?
  • What the reviewers’ inclusion criteria were.
  • It may be important for you to look for a lesser quality individual study that is more relevant to your own patient population.


Jayasekara RS, Munn Z, Lockwood C. Effect of educational components and strategies associated with insulin pump therapy: a systematic review. Int J Evid Based Healthc. 2011 Dec;9(4):346-61. doi: 10.1111/j.1744-1609.2011.00228.x.

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I am an information scientist with an interest in making knowledge from systematic research more accessible to people who need it. This means you. I've been attempting this in the area of Evidence-Based Health Care since 1995. So far the results have been mixed. For some reason we expected busy clinicians to search databases and appraise papers instead of seeing patients. We also expected publishers to make the research freely available to the people who paid for it.. Ha! Hence The National Elf service.

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