Routine behavioral and mental health screening in young children with type 1 diabetes mellitus
Article first published online: 26 NOV 2013
© 2013 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd
Volume 15, Issue 5, pages 384–388, August 2014
How to Cite
Zenlea, I. S., Mednick, L., Rein, J., Quinn, M., Wolfsdorf, J. and Rhodes, E. T. (2014), Routine behavioral and mental health screening in young children with type 1 diabetes mellitus. Pediatric Diabetes, 15: 384–388. doi: 10.1111/pedi.12099
- Issue published online: 17 JUL 2014
- Article first published online: 26 NOV 2013
- Manuscript Accepted: 23 OCT 2013
- Manuscript Revised: 30 SEP 2013
- Manuscript Received: 15 JUN 2013
- Diabetes Clinical, Training and Education Fund
- NIH. Grant Number: DK007260-34
- Risk Management Foundation of the Harvard Medical Institutions, Inc.
- mental health;
- diabetes mellitus, type 1
The American Diabetes Association and International Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Diabetes recommend that providers of diabetes care receive training in the recognition of psychosocial problems related to diabetes.
To report the results of routine behavioral/mental health screening for children with type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1D) seen in a multidisciplinary pediatric diabetes program.
Subjects and methods
This was a cross-sectional study of children with T1D ages 4–11 years, who underwent behavioral/mental health screening as part of their diabetes care. Screening utilized the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) Parent Proxy Version, and scores were reviewed by a social worker. SDQ scale and total difficulties scores were compared by gender, visit type, age, T1D duration, and HbA1c. Scores were also compared to age-appropriate normative data for children in United States of America (US).
SDQ Parent Proxy Version total difficulties and scale scores did not differ by patient or visit characteristics. Compared with normative data for US children, a greater proportion of children with T1D ages 4–7 and 8–10 years had borderline/abnormal scores on the emotional symptoms scale (p = 0.01 and p = 0.03, respectively), suggesting risk for psychological disorders, such as anxiety and depression.
Our findings suggest that children less than 11 years old with T1D may have greater emotional symptoms as compared to their age-matched healthy peers. Pediatric diabetes care providers, with access to mental health services, should consider incorporating routine behavioral/mental health screening for children less than 12 years old in their practice.