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J Pediatr Endocrinol Metab. 2005 Jan;18(1):83-91.

Fear and other disturbances of severe hypoglycaemia in children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes mellitus.

Author information

1
Center for Medical Technology Assessment, Department of Health and Society, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden. sam.nordfeldt@lio.se

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To study perceived occurrence and magnitude of fear and other disturbances of severe hypoglycaemia in children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes mellitus (DM) receiving intensive treatment with active education and psychosocial support.

PATIENTS AND METHODS:

Out of a geographic population of 112 patients <19 years of age and their families, with a DM duration >1 year, HbA1c mean+/-SD 6.7+/-0.9 (method 1.15% below DCCT level), 74 responded to a questionnaire. Visual analogue scales, 5-graded Likert scales and open questions were used.

RESULTS:

Global quality of life was high, but lower among patients with severe hypoglycaemia within the last year (p = 0.0114). Worse perceived health was correlated to higher HbA1c year mean (r = 0.32, p = 0.0227). Patients and parents regard severe hypoglycaemia more as a problem (p <0.0001) and the risk of it more disturbing than mild hypoglycaemia (p <0.0001), insulin injections (p <0.0001) or blood glucose determinations (p <0.0001). The disturbance is higher during exercise, disco/party and in travel situations. Severe hypoglycaemia with unconsciousness causes more fear than severe hypoglycaemia needing assistance but without unconsciousness (p = 0.0001) or the potential late complications of DM (p = 0.0014). Severe hypoglycaemia needing assistance but without unconsciousness causes more fear than mild hypoglycaemia (p = 0.0001) and diabetic ketoacidosis (p <0.0001) but less than the potential late complications of DM (p = 0.0034).

CONCLUSIONS:

Severe hypoglycaemia frequently causes fear and various disturbances in spite of active education and psychosocial support. There is a potential for increased quality of life from interventions targeted at the prevention of severe hypoglycaemia. Further research and improved strategies for the prevention of severe hypoglycaemia are needed.

PMID:
15679073
DOI:
10.1515/jpem.2005.18.1.83
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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