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Diabetes Educ. 1994 Mar-Apr;20(2):121-4.

Increasing children's responsibility for diabetes self-care: the In Control study.


The purpose of this pilot study was to test the hypothesis that children can learn to become more independent in their own diabetes self-management without compromising their metabolic control. Twenty-four children (ages 8 to 12 years) with insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) were matched by age and race, then randomly assigned either to a 6-week, self-management education program (experimental) or to receive usual care (control). A questionnaire was administered to the parents to determine the frequency with which 35 diabetes management behaviors were performed and the degree to which children assumed responsibility for these behaviors. Glycohemoglobin levels were monitored at baseline and at posttreatment, 12 weeks after baseline. At the posttreatment, children in the experimental group were found to be assuming significantly more responsibility for their diabetes self-care than were children in the control group. No decrease in the frequency with which self-care behaviors were performed was observed, and metabolic control was maintained. The results suggest that a diabetes self-management education program for children ages 8 to 12 years can be effective in facilitating children becoming more responsible for their own diabetes management.

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