Diabetes and needlephobia

ORANGE WITH NEEDLESEveryone with Type 1 diabetes, and at least 500,000 people with type 2 diabetes, do daily injections. That’s a lot of people injecting and a lot of injections, especially if you’re on the 4-5 injections a day routine (one or two background injections, and one with each meal).

Getting those needles on and off can be a problem – plus, as they’re both pointy and sharp, there is a real possibility of small, unwanted puncture accidents happening. Also, what about drawing up your dose? Perhaps twisting your pen to set your dose is problematic? Then there are those with needlephobia, an unlucky circumstance if you have to inject several times a day.

There is evidence that a small percentage of children in particular, but also adults too suffer from needle-phobia. Around 8% of children have a pronounced needle-phobia (Hanas and Ludviggson, 2005) and best estimate at around 3% of adults, (Bienvenu & Eaton, 1998). It is actually a fairly logical fear to have, after all, who wishes to be stabbed with anything and then insert a foreign material into our bodies? Having diabetes, however, you have little choice.

Epidemiological studies have reported that identifiable needle phobia has a median age of onset at 5.5 years (Bienvenu & Eaton, 1998) and remains quite common in adulthood (Nir et al., 2003). For instance, in a sample of young adult travellers attending a vaccination clinic, 21.7% reported that they were afraid of injections and 8.2% described their fear as excessive (Nir et al., 2003). In an older study, fear of blood and injury was found to be present in approximately one-third of children 6 to 12 years old (Lapouse & Monk, 1959). However, studies on blood-injection-injury phobia have been hampered by a lack of precise definition for the disorder but it’s estimated as affecting around 3% of the adult population (Bienvenu & Eaton, 1998).

One product that has been developed to address needlephobia in children with diabetes is InsuJet. It is only calibrated for use with insulin, so it’s easy to fill with the right dose.

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