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Keywords:

  • adolescent;
  • disordered eating;
  • female;
  • nurse practitioner;
  • nursing;
  • type 1 diabetes

Abstract

Aim

To identify the role of the nurse practitioner in caring for female adolescents with type 1 diabetes mellitus at risk for disordered eating behaviour and to formulate clinical recommendations for nurse practitioners in the primary care setting.

Background

Transition into adulthood can be difficult for female adolescents with type 1 diabetes mellitus. Challenges associated with management of this illness may place adolescent females at an increased risk for disordered eating.

Design

Discussion paper.

Data Sources

Sourced literature from 1991–2013, located through CINAHL, Health Source, Proquest, PubMed, PsychInfo, Web of Science and Medline databases.

Implications for Nursing

Nurses involved in the primary care of female adolescents with type 1 diabetes mellitus need to be aware of the increased risk for disordered eating behaviours and develop the competencies to care for both the adolescent and her family to reduce the serious consequences of these behaviours.

Conclusion

Awareness and acquisition of the skills required to intervene will enable nurse practitioners to recognize clients at risk for disordered eating, gain appreciation of the motivation of female adolescents with type 1 diabetes mellitus towards disordered eating behaviours and give optimal opportunity for education, counselling and recovery. Future direction for research includes exploration of the experiences of adolescents with type 1 diabetes mellitus; early interventions in the primary care setting; effective educational, preventative or supportive services for adolescents with this illness and their families; and outcomes to emerging technologies for insulin therapy on disordered eating occurrence.