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Endocr Pract. 2013 Sep-Oct;19(5):800-4. doi: 10.4158/EP13004.OR.

Effectiveness of a spanish language clinic for Hispanic youth with type 1 diabetes.

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Department of Pediatrics, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut.



A pilot study was undertaken to determine whether establishment of a Spanish Language Diabetes Clinic (SLDC) for Spanish-speaking families conducted by a team of Spanish-speaking, Hispanic and nonHispanic clinicians provides a means to improve control of type 1 diabetes (T1D).


The first 21 Hispanic pediatric patients with T1D who enrolled in the SLDC were matched to 21 Hispanic patients treated in the English Language Diabetes Clinic (ELDC) based on age and duration of diabetes. The two groups did not differ significantly with respect to gender, body mass index (BMI), or glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c). Patients in both groups were followed for 12 months.


The mean (± standard deviation) baseline glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) level in the SLDC group (8.4 ± 1.0%) was similar to that in the ELDC group (8.6 ± 1.4%, P = .83). HbA1c levels fell by 0.5 ± 1.0% (P = .01) during the year following enrollment in the SLDC but did not change significantly from baseline during the year of follow-up in the ELDC group (decrease of 0.2 ± 0.9%, P = .1). At the start of the study, only 5 patients (23%) in the SLDC group and 7 patients (33%) in the ELDC group met the ≤7.5% target HbA1c level. After 1 year, 10 of the SLDC patients (48%) and 4 of ELDC patients (19%) had HbA1c levels ≤7.5% (P = .01).


Our preliminary findings support the hypothesis that overcoming language barriers by the establishment of a SLDC can be an effective means of improving metabolic control in youth with T1D in Hispanic families with limited English language skills.

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