Simplifying carb counting: A randomized controlled study – Feasibility and efficacy of an individualized, simple, patient-centred carb counting tool

Shulamit Witkow, Idit F. Liberty, Irina Goloub, Malka Kaminsky, Olga Otto, Yones Abu Rabia, Ilana Harman Boehm, Rachel Golan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Introduction: The purpose of this study was to introduce and test a simple, individualized carbohydrate counting tool designed for persons with Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus (T1DM) in order to determine whether the tool improved A1C levels for participants with age, education or language barriers. Methods: In a randomized controlled trial, 85 participants were offered six diabetes instructional sessions free of charge over a six-month period. Forty-one received guidance using the regular carbohydrate counting (RCC) method. Forty-four received guidance using an individualized ‘Simple Carb Counting’ (SCC), involving two customized tables prepared for participants. Results: The simple, individualized SCC tool for carbohydrate counting was non-inferior to the standard method of RCC. The SCC tool was more effective among participants aged 40 and older, while no differences were found when comparing participants by education level. Irrespective of intervention group, all participants improved their A1C level (9.9% = 13.2 mmol/L vs 8.6% = 11.1 mmol/L, p =.001). A greater improvement in A1C level was seen in newly diagnosed participants (−6.1 vs −0.7, p =.005, −3.4 vs 0.9, p =.032) in both the RCC and SCC groups. All participants expressed improved emotional level per their PAID5 questionnaires (Problem Areas in Diabetes Scale-PAID), (10.6 (±5.7) vs 9.5 (±5.7), p =.023), with women reporting greater improvement than men. Conclusions: SCC is a simple, individualized, feasible, low-tech tool for carbohydrate counting, which promotes and enables accurate insulin dosing in people with T1DM. It was found more effective among participants aged 40 and older. Additional studies are needed to corroborate these findings.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere411
JournalEndocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
Volume6
Issue number2
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 7 Feb 2023

Keywords

  • carbohydrate counting
  • patient instruction
  • type 1 diabetes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism

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