Family problem-solving sessions help teens better manage diabetes

NIH study shows program helps adolescents control blood sugar

Nih.gov: 9/7/12

A clinic-based program for adolescents with type 1 diabetes and their families helped the teens develop the healthy behaviors needed to control their blood sugar levels, researchers at the National Institutes of Health have found.

The researchers found that 12- to 15-year-olds benefited from a two-year program of three to four meetings each year with parents and a health advisor to discuss shared responsibilities, goals and strategies for solving diabetes management problems that arose.

“Adolescence can be difficult for families — even without the complex challenge of taking care of diabetes,” said first author Tonja R. Nansel, Ph.D., of the Prevention Research Branch of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), the institute that conducted the study. “Our study found that meeting with a health advisor during regular diabetes clinic visits could help families put together strategies for dealing with diabetes, to better manage the changes that occur as children take on more responsibility for their day-to-day diabetes care.” Read more