Insulin therapy for inpatients with diabetes: Perceptions of resident physicians from disparate geographic training programs

Vasundhara Cheekati, Robert C. Osburne, Kimberly A. Jameson, Curtiss B. Cook

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


Background: Improving diabetes management in hospitalized patients will require educational efforts for all practitioners, particularly resident physicians. Thus, a better understanding of residents' beliefs about diabetes in the hospital must be obtained. Objective: The purpose of this article was to compare and contrast perceptions of resident physicians from 2 geographically distinct training programs regarding management of inpatients with diabetes. Methods: Residents from training programs in the southwestern and southeastern United States were surveyed in 2006 and 2007 about their views on the importance of inpatient glucose control, their perceptions about desirable target glucose ranges, and the problems they encountered when trying to manage hyperglycemia in hospitalized patients. Results: Responses were obtained from 52 of 66 residents at site 1 and from 65 of 85 residents at site 2 (N = 117 total respondents; total response, 77%; mean age, 31 years; 48% men; 61% primary care). Combined analyses revealed that respondents believed that glucose control was "very important" in critically ill patients (96%), perioperative patients (82%), and noncritically ill patients (66%). Most residents indicated that they would target a therapeutic glucose range within published recommendations. Less than half felt "very comfortable" managing inpatient hyperglycemia, hypoglycemia, subcutaneous insulin, or insulin drips. Respondents were not very familiar with existing institutional policies or preprinted order sets for insulin therapy. The most commonly reported barrier to management of inpatient hyper-glycemia was lack of knowledge about appropriate insulin regimens and their use. Conclusions: Trainees from 2 very different educational programs shared common beliefs, knowledge deficits, and perceived barriers about inpatient glucose management. Our findings indicate that trainees were uncertain about how to use insulin therapy in the hospital. Future inpatient diabetes quality-improvement efforts should focus on development of uniform educational programs targeting the management of inpatient diabetes, particularly as it relates to insulin use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)106-113
Number of pages8
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2009


  • diabetes mellitus
  • hospitalization
  • hyperglycemia
  • inpatient
  • practitioner beliefs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Family Practice

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