Evolution of Growth Hormone Devices: Matching Devices with Patients
Dawn Raimer-Hall and Heidi Chamberlain Shea
Self-injection of growth hormone (GH) by children with GH deficiency can be problematic. They may have difficulty manipulating injection devices or preparing medication, and injections can be painful and create anxiety. Adherence to daily GH injections optimizes treatment benefit. Studies indicate that injection pens or needle-free devices enable easy self-injection by children, minimize medication reconstitution and storage requirements, and reduce injection pain. Newer GH delivery devices potentially encourage improved patient adherence. Reviewing features of GH devices will help nurses decide which GH device best fits the needs and abilities of pediatric patients. We searched recent medical literature about GH device development, about device-associated patient preferences and treatment adherence, and comparisons among GH devices. We concluded that improved awareness of the strengths and limitations of GH devices will enable nurses to guide families in selecting and using GH devices, improving adherence and outcomes, and helping children reach full growth potential.