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Acta Paediatr. 1995 Jan;84(1):41-50.

Short-term and long-term initial stay in hospital of children with insulin-dependent diabetes: adjustment of families after two years.

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Department of Pediatrics, University of Turku, Finland.


A randomized prospective trial on the effect of the length of initial hospital stay (23 +/- 4 days and 9 +/- 3 days) in 61 consecutive children with newly diagnosed diabetes was carried out. Since the metabolic outcome was similar in the treatment groups for the first two years, we analyzed the adjustment and subjective well-being of families to the diabetes after a two-year follow-up period. A semi-structured interview by a psychologist who was blinded to the initial treatment length and medical history of the child showed that 74% of the families in the short-term and 58% in the long-term treatment groups had good overall psychosocial ability to function (ns); there were no unusual fears in 37% and 15% of the families (ns), respectively. After short-term treatment, families needed slightly but not significantly less time to be confident about the management of diabetes in the family. These findings show that the short-term initial hospital stay does not unfavorably affect the adjustment of the family to diabetes and should probably be preferred over the long-term initial hospital stay.

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