Inside Diabetes Guide to Injection technique by Desang Diabetes media supported by BD (Becton Dickin

12NEEDLEPHOBIA:

FACING THE FEAR

For most people with diabetes, injections are a way of life - but that doesn't mean it's

easy. Whether you're newly diagnosed or have had diabetes for years, injecting can be very

distressing. We look at ways to help.

veryone with Type 1 diabetes

(about 350,000),and at least

500,000 people with Type 2

diabetes, inject daily. That amounts

to a lot of injections, particularly if

you're doing four to five a day (one

or two background injections, and

one with each meal).

Of course, just because we need to

do it doesn't mean there aren't any

issues with it. Getting those needles

on and off can be a problem - plus,

as they're both pointy and sharp,

there's a real chance of small

puncture accidents. 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 need

to inject several times a day.

WHO IT AFFECTS

There is evidence that a small

percentage of children, in particular,

but adults too have needlephobia.

Around 8% of children have a

pronounced needlephobia (Hanas

and Ludviggson, 2005) and best

estimate at about 3% of adults,

(Bienvenu & Eaton, 1998). It is a

fairly logical fear to have - after all,

who wishes to be stabbed with

anything and then insert a foreign

material into our bodies? But, of

course, when you have diabetes,

you have little choice.

Epidemiological studies have

reported that identifiable

needlephobia has a median age of

onset at 5.5 years (Bienvenu &

Eaton, 1998) and remains quite

of the adult population (Bienvenu

& Eaton, 1998). For those of us with

Type 1 diabetes, we need to get

insulin inside us somehow, and that

is also true for many people with

Type 2 diabetes, some of which may

need other injectable medications.

There are three main options for

insulin delivery - disposable

syringes, insulin pens - that may be

prefilled - or insulin pumps. These

will get the insulin into us

subcutaneously (i.e. into the layer

just under the skin). If you need a

helping hand, there are products

can help make injecting more

comfortable, with less pain.

E

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 (Lapo use

& 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%

" Extinguish irrational fears"

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