COVID-19 lockdown has affected diabetes management among the insulin pump users by changing their life style, affected their mental health, limited diabetes and insulin pump supplies and more difficult communication with the healthcare providers
The aim of this research is to study the effects of COVID-19 lockdown on managing diabetes mellitus among Sudanese insulin pump users, Sudan (March- September 2020).
This is a descriptive cross-sectional community based study which was done in contact with Shimaa medical CO. LTD. 26 insulin pump users were chosen by total coverage and the data was collected throughout phone call interviews. All statistical analyses were performed using IBM SPSS Statistics software, version 20.
The mean age of 22 participants was 25.3 ± 17.2 years, and the majorities (63.6%) were females. The average duration of diabetes was 6.9 ± 3.9 years, and the average duration of insulin pump use was 3 ± 1 years. Of the 22 patients (90.9%) used glucometer for monitoring blood sugar. 9 (40.9%) were less subjective to depression, 9 (40.9%) had moderate susceptibility to have depression. 8 patients (36.4%) reported weight gain, 12 patients (54.5%) reported no weight changes, while 2 patients (9.1%) reported weight loss. The level of physical activity decreased in 10 patients (45.5%), and the dietary habits remained unchanged in 50%. Moreover, participants who reported a decrease in physical activity levels were more likely to report weight gain (P = 0.004) compared with those who reported an increase in physical activity levels. Most of the patients have unchanged behaviors regarding experiencing hyper and hypoglycemic symptoms 45.5%, 72.7% respectively. Most of the patients have unchanged adherence to the insulin pump behaviors, carb counting (63.6%), bolus wizard during mealtime (68.2%), and bolus wizard for hyperglycemia correction (68.2%), self-monitoring of blood glucose (40.9%). (40.9%) of the patients had scheduled phone call appointments, 5 patients (22.7%) received virtual education (VE) from the insulin pump technician. 12 patients (54.5%) reported difficulty obtaining at least one type of insulin pump supply.
COVID-19 lock down has led to the decrease in physical activity with unchanged dietary habits. Getting the insulin pump supplies was difficult for most of the patient’s, and there was shortage and increase prices for diabetes care supplies. Telemedicine should be considered seriously to ease the communication between the patients and the health care providers.