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Introduction As the therapeutic options in the management of type 2 diabetes increase, there is an increase confusion among health care professionals, thus leading to the phenomenon of therapeutic inertia. This is the failure to escalate or de-escalate treatment when the clinical need for this is required. It has been studied extensively in various settings, however, it has never been reported in any studies focusing solely on primary care physicians with an interest in diabetes. This group is increasingly becoming the focus of managing complex diabetes care in the community, albeit with the support from specialists. Methods In this retrospective audit, we assessed the prevalence of the phenomenon of therapeutic inertia amongst primary care physicians with an interest in diabetes in UK. We also assessed the predictive abilities of various patient level characteristics on therapeutic inertia amongst this group of clinicians. Results Out of the 240 patients reported on, therapeutic inertia was judged to have occurred in 53 (22.1%) of patients. The full model containing all the selected variables was not statistically significant, p = 0.59. So the model was not able to distinguish between situations in which therapeutic inertia occurred and when it did not occur. None of the patient level characteristics on its own was predictive of therapeutic inertia. Conclusion Therapeutic inertia was present only in about a fifth of patient patients with diabetes being managed by primary care physicians with an interest in diabetes.

Original publication




Journal article


Primary Care Diabetes

Publication Date





87 - 91