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Arch Dis Child. 2003 Mar;88(3):240-5.

Prevention of severe hypoglycaemia in type I diabetes: a randomised controlled population study.

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  • 1Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden.



To investigate use of targeted self study material in type I diabetes patient education regarding dissemination, perceived patient benefit, and prevention of severe hypoglycaemia.


In a randomised 1:1:1 controlled study, 332 patients with type I diabetes (aged 2.6-18.9 years) were studied; 313 completed clinical follow up, 261 completed endpoint questionnaire. The intervention group received videotapes and a brochure designed to review skills for self control and treatment, aimed at preventing severe hypoglycaemia. Two control groups received a videotape and brochure with general diabetes information, or traditional treatment only, respectively.


Yearly incidence of severe hypoglycaemia decreased from 42% to 27% in the intervention group, but not in controls. HbA1c remained unchanged. Levels of use ranged from 1 to 20 times (median 2); 40-49% had shown the materials to friends, relatives, school staff, sports coaches, etc (there was little difference between intervention and control groups). Higher benefit and learning levels resulted from the intervention material, especially in patients with severe hypoglycaemia.


Mass distributed pedagogical devices such as high quality video programmes and brochures may contribute to the prevention of severe hypoglycaemia. Such self study materials can reach high dissemination levels and constitute a cost effective complement to regular visits to a diabetes team and to other types of education. The findings may have implications for other topics, other ages, and other diagnosis groups.

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