Behavioral Interventions Help Adolescents Manage Their A1C Levels

Published Online: Friday, October 5, 2012
Adolescents with diabetes who participate in problem-solving sessions with their families are better able to monitor and control their hemoglobin A1C levels than those adolescents who only receive standard care, researchers at the National Institutes of Health have found.

Researchers looked at 300 preteens and young adolescents aged 9 to 15 years and evaluated them through a 2-year behavioral intervention program. Half of the families enrolled in the study received standard care, which consisted of regular visits to their diabetes care physician. In addition to standard care, the second cohort was enrolled in the WE-CAN Manage Diabetes program. Participants in this group attended meetings to discuss the challenges associated with their child’s diabetes management and aspects of their child’s care they would like to improve. With the help of a health advisor, the families set improvement goals and created strategies for dealing with the condition.

By the end of the study, the children aged 12 to 15 years in the intervention group had better A1C levels than the standard care cohort. These improvements in blood sugar, however, were not observed in the kids in the intervention group aged 9 to 11 years.

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