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J Clin Pharm Ther. 2012 Apr;37(2):140-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2710.2011.01283.x. Epub 2011 Jul 6.

Experiences of children/young people and their parents, using insulin pump therapy for the management of type 1 diabetes: qualitative review.

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  • 1Department of Practice and Policy, School of Pharmacy, University of London, UK.



Advances in medical technology have made insulin pumps an attractive treatment option for patients with type 1 diabetes and in particular for children and young people. Previous studies have accounted the experiences and views of children/young people and their parents for the use of the injection therapy, but very few have focused on the use of insulin pumps. The objective of this review was to identify studies that explore the experiences of children/young people and their parents on the transition from injections to insulin pump therapy, in the context of their social life.


A systematic literature search was conducted, and six studies meeting the inclusion and exclusion criteria were identified.


  Views and perspectives from the studies identified mainly focused on: introduction to the pump; reasons for the transition to pump therapy; advantages and disadvantages of this treatment option; and impact on quality of life (QoL). Parents and/or children reported that they learned about pump therapy either formally from a healthcare professional or informally from a friend or the internet. Many reasons were identified for the transition, the most important being the pursuit of stable and controlled blood sugar levels and the desire for a more flexible lifestyle. Participants highlighted the advantages of insulin pumps in terms of improved diabetes control. Moreover, there was a positive impact on the QoL, as insulin pumps provided children greater flexibility in lifestyles especially with regards to meals and socialization. In contrast, psychosocial issues such as pump visibility and physical restrictions were highlighted as disadvantages. Issues such as day-to-day management were also discussed.


Exploring children/young people's perspectives on the use of pump therapy for managing their diabetes, and parental reflections in caring for those children is important as it provides evidence informing policy for the wider implementation of this technology in the management of diabetes in children. However, the review revealed that there is a scarcity of data in this area and that further research is needed.

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