Short Report: Education and Psychological Aspects
Transitions in care: support group for young adults with Type 1 diabetes
Version of Record online: 12 MAR 2012
© 2011 The Authors. Diabetic Medicine © 2011 Diabetes UK
Volume 29, Issue 4, pages 522–525, April 2012
How to Cite
Markowitz, J. T. and Laffel, L. M. B. (2012), Transitions in care: support group for young adults with Type 1 diabetes. Diabetic Medicine, 29: 522–525. doi: 10.1111/j.1464-5491.2011.03537.x
- Issue online: 12 MAR 2012
- Version of Record online: 12 MAR 2012
- Accepted manuscript online: 12 DEC 2011 02:01AM EST
- Accepted 6 December 2011
- support groups;
- Type 1 diabetes;
- young adults
Diabet. Med. 29, 522–525 (2012)
Aims Young adulthood is a challenging period for patients with Type 1 diabetes as developmental changes complicate Type 1 diabetes management and gaps in care may arise as patients transition from paediatric to adult providers. This period has been associated with worsening diabetes outcomes. One approach to aid young adults during this transition period could entail professionally led support groups to enhance self-motivation and facilitate peer-to-peer interactions. We implemented and evaluated a support group for young adults with Type 1 diabetes as a pilot project.
Methods Young adults with Type 1 diabetes (18–30 years) participated in monthly, professionally led support groups for 5 months. Questionnaires were completed pre- and post-group and chart review data were collected regarding glycaemic control and visit frequency in the year before and after group participation.
Results Participation in the group was associated with improvement in HbA1c and decreased self-reported diabetes burden, along with a trend for an increase in diabetes-related self-care behaviours. Frequency of visits did not vary from pre- to post-group. Discussion topics identified by participants included managing diabetes in day-to-day life, experiences and interactions with others who do not have diabetes and emotions related to diabetes. Participants identified that they sought a diabetes care team that offers knowledge, support and a multidisciplinary team.
Conclusions Professionally led support groups may have utility for increasing social support and optimizing diabetes outcomes in young adults with Type 1 diabetes.