OBJECTIVE: To improve glycemic control, a hand-held plastic Insulin Dosage Guide was developed to correct blood glucose levels outside of the target range. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: Protocol 1: Some 40 children (mean age 10.6+/-4.6 years) were randomly assigned for 3 months to use a written-on-paper algorithm or the Insulin Dosage Guide to correct abnormal blood glucose levels. Mean HbA1c and blood glucose levels and time to teach insulin dosage correction were compared. Protocol 2: The Insulin Dosage Guide was used by 83 subjects (mean age 11.4+/-4.3 years) for 1 year, and mean HbA1c levels, blood glucose levels, and number of consecutive high blood glucose values taken before and after the year were compared. Protocol 3: Some 20 patients (mean age 10.1+/-3.7 years) using rapid-acting insulin and 64 patients (mean age 15.9+/-3.6 years) using an insulin pump and rapid-acting insulin used the Insulin Dosage Guide and had mean blood glucose levels, HbA1c, and percentage of blood glucose levels outside of the target range determined. RESULTS: Protocol 1: There was a significant reduction in mean HbA1c (P = 0.04) and blood glucose levels (P = 0.05) and in the time needed to teach how to correct blood glucose values using the Insulin Dosage Guide compared with the paper algorithm. Protocol 2: There was a decrease in mean HbA1c levels (P = 0.0001) and a decrease in the mean number of consecutive blood glucose levels (P = 0.001) over the 1-year time period. Protocol 3: With rapid-acting insulin, there was a significant increase in the percentage of blood glucose levels within the target range (1 month, P = 0.04; at 3 months, P = 0.03). With the insulin pump, there was a high rate (90%) of blood glucose levels in the target range during pump initiation when the Insulin Dosage Guide was used. CONCLUSIONS: This inexpensive hand-held plastic card, which is portable and easy to use, may help patients improve glycemia and successfully manage diabetes.

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