Skip main navigation

Psychological and behavioural reasons

Description of the psychological and behavioural reasons that can affect the action of administered insulin
© University of Southampton

When assessing a person who has diabetes with an unexplained high blood glucose level, it is essential to ensure that they are taking the insulin as advised:

  • Missing doses regularly can adversely affect diabetes control and contribute to hyperglycaemia. Some people find times when diabetes does lower their mood, which can be when they may omit treatment with insulin.

  • They may also reduce their physical activity, eat meals or snacks high in carbohydrate content which can contribute to high glucose levels.

  • Some people may have needle phobia and as such find it difficult to administer insulin without support. As a child, sometimes Carlos used to cry after being injected.

Picture of Carlos as a child crying after being injected Figure: Carlos crying after being injected

  • Anxiety over possible side effects from administered insulin, such as weight gain and hypoglycaemia may also be reasons for insulin not acting as expected.
It has also been observed that the commencement of insulin based treatment in type 2 diabetes has either been delayed or doses not increased in a timely manner, due to an under appreciation of the urgent need for insulin by non specialist healthcare professionals.
© University of Southampton
This article is from the free online

Understanding Insulin

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Our purpose is to transform access to education.

We offer a diverse selection of courses from leading universities and cultural institutions from around the world. These are delivered one step at a time, and are accessible on mobile, tablet and desktop, so you can fit learning around your life.

We believe learning should be an enjoyable, social experience, so our courses offer the opportunity to discuss what you’re learning with others as you go, helping you make fresh discoveries and form new ideas.
You can unlock new opportunities with unlimited access to hundreds of online short courses for a year by subscribing to our Unlimited package. Build your knowledge with top universities and organisations.

Learn more about how FutureLearn is transforming access to education