Magnitude of Type 1 Diabetes Self-Management in Youth Health Care Needs Diabetes Educators

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The purpose of this article is to demonstrate the complexity of the type 1 diabetes regimen and to highlight the essential role of the diabetes educator in safely training and implementing the myriad skills in a developmentally appropriate manner for children and adolescents. A review of literature and a task analysis were preformed and suggest that the complexity of the regimen is often not adequately addressed. Reviewed research assessed the regimen using measures with on average about 25 items while the task analysis contains over 600 tasks. The article discusses implications for clinical practice, including implications for measurement in research, targeting of interventions by diabetes educators, and the gradual transfer of regimen control to youth. It is argued that given the magnitude of the self-management task, education cannot be accomplished in the limited time that general practice physicians, pediatricians, or endocrinology specialists can spend with each patient. It is concluded that youth must be helped to internalize the importance of the regimen tasks and that transfer of these tasks to youth requires a developmentally sensitive approach to education. Diabetes educators serve an essential role in which they help young patients and their parents manage and master this overwhelming experience through promoting youth's involvement in tasks when full responsibility is not yet appropriate. The regimen is too complex for youth to undertake self-management without multidisciplinary support.

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Diabetes Educator





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Graduate Psychology and Counseling