The process of incorporating insulin pumps into the everyday lives of people with Type 1 diabetes - a critical interpretive synthesis

Claire Reidy, Mike Bracher, Claire Foster, Ivaylo Vassilev, Anne Rogers

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

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Background: Insulin pump therapy (IPT) is a technological advancement that has been developed to help people manage Type 1 diabetes (T1D). However, ways of managing diabetes requiring the implementation of health technologies bring new complexities and a need to understand the factors which enable people with T1D to incorporate a novel device. This new comprehension could provide an exemplar for people with long-term conditions to incorporate new technologies more generally.

Objective: To determine what influences the incorporation, adaptation and use of IPT into the everyday lives of people living with diabetes.

Design: Critical interpretive synthesis (CIS) using systematic searches undertaken in 7 electronic databases of literature, published 2008 onwards.

Results: A total of 4998 titles were identified, 274 abstracts reviewed, 39 full articles retrieved and 22 papers selected for analysis. Three themes emerged which were of relevance to the introduction and use of IPT; Tensions between expectations and experiences in adoption and early adaptation; Negotiation of responsibility and accessing support; Reflexivity, active experimentation and feedback.

Conclusions: This CIS builds on earlier reviews on lived experiences of IPT. Novel insights are offered through examination of the experiences of pump users from children through to adults, their families and health-care professionals. Expectations of what the device can do to improve self-management impacts on the early stages of adoption as the reality of the technology requires substantial thought and action. Areas for intervention to improve IPT incorporation include establishing who is responsible for management tasks of the device and enabling navigation to further means of support and resources.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)714-729
Number of pages16
JournalHealth Expectations
Issue number4
Early online date8 Feb 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2018


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