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Keywords:

  • diabetes mellitus;
  • eating disorder;
  • prevention;
  • risk factor;
  • type 1

Abstract

Aims

This study evaluated the effectiveness of a pilot programme in enhancing protective factors for eating disorders in young girls with type 1 diabetes (T1D).

Methods

Twenty girls with T1D (M age = 11.06 years) attended two 4-h group sessions. A 4-week baseline control period was compared against changes at post-programme and at 1-month follow-up on measures of eating disorder risk factors and indicators of glycaemic control.

Results

At post-intervention, significant improvements were found for self-efficacy related to diabetes management, self-esteem, body-esteem,thin-ideal internalization and perfectionism. These gains were maintained at 1-month follow-up. Participants were also rated by their parents as assuming more responsibility for specific diabetes-related tasks at follow-up.

Conclusions

A brief interactive programme can favourably impact protective factors for disordered eating. The development of effective disordered eating prevention strategies for girls with T1D is an urgent priority and the current study is a first step in this direction.