For youth with diabetes, managing glucose levels plays an important role in avoiding complications later in life. Finding ways to encourage youth to take control of their lifestyle and their diabetes plays an important part in the process. Husted and associates (2014) conducted a study that used a life-style approach to help youth take measures to better control their diabetes. The following summarizes the study.
The study used a population sample of 13 adolescents who had been diagnosed with Type I diabetes for over 1 year. All of the youth that took part in the study had poor diabetes control prior to enrolling in the study. The youth participated in the study with their parents and physicians, forming the adolescent-parent-professional triad. The study instrument was the Guided Self-Determination-Youth Method. The instrument was adapted from an adult version of the program. The program uses reflections sheets and advanced communication for youth to use during outpatient visits.
Data on the youth’s glycemic control was collected during the intervention period of 11-24 months. At the end the end of six months structured interviews were conducted. The data was analyzed qualitatively. The study found that among the adolescents, they developed new relationships with both their parents and healthcare providers. They took a more active role as decision makers in the management of their diabetes. The youth also grew personally from the experience.
The study concluded that the life skills approach was successful in helping adolescents to actively take control of their diabetes through improved life skills. The reflection sheets were helpful in improving the ability of the adolescents to prepare for visit and to clarify key concepts. Reflection helped the youth the indemnify the barriers that they faced in the ability to control their diabetes. The mutual approach was found to be useful in avoiding conflicts in the triads.
- Husted, G., Esbensen, B., Hommel, E., & Thorsteinsson, B. & Zoffmann, V. (2014, March 8). Adolescents developing life skills for managing type 1 diabetes: a qualitative, realistic evaluation of a guided self-determination-youth intervention. JAN – Original Research: Empirical Research – Qualitative. 2634-2649