For Adolescents Monitoring Glucose, Emotional Reactions Matter

Published Online: Monday, March 18, 2013
Negative reactions to blood glucose monitoring may affect glycemic control in adolescents with type 1 diabetes, according to a study published online on January 15, 2013, by Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice.

Researchers studied 150 adolescents aged 13 to 18 years receiving treatment for type 1 diabetes. Adolescents and their caregivers completed 3 assessments over 1 year: once at baseline, once at 6 months, and once at 12 months. Both adolescents and caregivers completed the Blood Glucose Monitoring Communication questionnaire to measure how often they experience negative emotional responses to the adolescent’s high and low blood glucose monitoring results. Participants also completed the Diabetes Family Conflict Scale to measure the level and frequency of conflicts linked to diabetes-specific tasks. Hemoglobin A1c was measured using a blood sample.

The researchers found that caregivers’ negative reactions to blood glucose monitoring has a long-term impact on adolescents’ glycemic control. A greater negative reaction to blood glucose monitoring was associated with greater family conflict and higher A1c levels. The researchers suggest that intervening with families who experience negative reactions to blood glucose monitoring may prevent family conflict related to diabetes and therefore minimize the impact to glycemic control and prevent long-term effects to the adolescent.

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