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Introduction: Initiation of injectable therapies in type 2 diabetes (T2D) is often delayed, however the reasons why are not fully understood. Methods: A mixed methods study performed in sequential phases. Phase 1: focus groups with people with T2D (injectable naïve [n = 12] and experienced [n = 5]) and healthcare professionals (HCPs; nurses [n = 5] and general practitioners (GPs) [n = 7]) to understand their perceptions of factors affecting initiation of injectables. Phase 2: video-captured GP consultations (n = 18) with actor-portrayed patient scenarios requiring T2D treatment escalation to observe the initiation in the clinical setting. Phase 3: HCP surveys (n = 87) to explore external validity of the themes identified in a larger sample. Results: Focus groups identified patients’ barriers to initiation; fear, lack of knowledge and misconceptions about diabetes and treatment aims, concerns regarding lifestyle restrictions and social stigma, and feelings of failure. Facilitators included education, good communication, clinician support and competence. HCP barriers included concerns about weight gain and hypoglycaemia, and limited consultation time. In simulated consultations, GPs performed high-quality consultations and recognised the need for injectable initiation in 9/12 consultations where this was the expert recommended option but did not provide support for initiation themselves. Survey results demonstrated HCPs believe injectable initiation should be performed in primary care, although many practitioners reported inability to do so or difficulty in maintaining skills. Conclusion: People with T2D have varied concerns and educational needs regarding injectables. GPs recognise the need to initiate injectables but lack practical skills and time to address patient concerns and provide education. Primary care nurses also report difficulties in maintaining these skills. Primary care HCPs initiating injectables require additional training to provide practical demonstrations, patient education and how to identify and address concerns. These skills should be concentrated in the hands of a small number of primary care providers to ensure they can maintain their skills.

Original publication




Journal article


Diabetes Therapy

Publication Date