The health and lifestyles of adolescents with type 1 diabetes in Portugal

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Abstract

Summary

The changes during adolescence can affect adherence to diabetes treatment and the quality of life of adolescents with type 1 diabetes.

Summary

The aims of this study were to evaluate the behaviours and lifestyles, psychological adaptation and social support of adolescents with type 1 diabetes, and to compare the results with those of ‘The Health of Portuguese Adolescents’ study.

Summary

Study participants comprised 91 adolescents with type 1 diabetes, aged between 11 and 16 years, who were receiving diabetes monitoring consultations at the Portuguese Diabetes Association. Data were collected via a questionnaire consisting of 57 questions which were answered by the adolescents. This study used quantitative research methods with descriptive analysis, and comparative, correlational and inferential statistics.

Summary

The results showed that adolescents with diabetes have healthier eating habits and a more positive attitude towards their satisfaction with life, but their health perception is less positive than that of other adolescents. Body weight, height, and physical and leisure activities are similar in all of the adolescents. Youngsters show satisfactory adherence to insulin therapy, eating habits, physical exercise and glucose monitoring (59–92%). However, they present a high level of HbA1c (mean 9.9% [85mmol/mol]). The highest levels of HbA1c have been related to poor health perception ( p<0.01) and less frequent blood glucose monitoring ( p< 0.05). The best representations and the best psychological adaptation to diabetes are positively correlated to regular physical exercise ( p<0.05). Study participants reported that they have good social support from family, teachers, friends and their health care team (64–95%) and refer to the benefits of group sessions and summer camps with other youngsters with type 1 diabetes.

Summary

It was concluded that metabolic control in adolescents with type 1 diabetes is unsatisfactory, in spite of good adherence to diabetes treatment and a healthy lifestyle.Copyright © 2012 FEND. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Summary

Institution where the research was done: Portuguese Diabetes Association

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