Maternal Depressive Symptoms Predict Adolescent Healthcare Utilization and Charges in Youth With Type 1 Diabetes (T1D)

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Abstract

Objective: To examine whether maternal depressive symptoms predict diabetes-related health care utilization and charges in adolescents with Type 1 diabetes. Method: Mothers of adolescents ages 11–18 with Type 1 diabetes completed the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale at enrollment and at 12-month follow-up. Demographic and disease-related variables, including HbA1c, were also assessed. Health care utilization data and charges for diabetes-related care (i.e., endocrine clinic visits, emergency room visits, and hospitalizations) for the period of 12 and 24 months following enrollment were assessed. Results: Maternal depressive symptoms at enrollment predicted higher utilization/charges at 12-and 24-month follow-up, after controlling for demographic and disease-related variables and adolescent depressive symptoms. High maternal depressive symptoms at baseline were associated with $8,405 additional charges over the next 2 years. Adolescents of mothers with high depressive symptoms were twice as likely to have an emergency room visit and three times as likely to have a hospitalization. Conclusion: Maternal depressive symptoms are an independent predictor of health care utilization and charges in adolescents with Type 1 diabetes. Interventions aimed at identifying and treating depressive symptoms in mothers could not only enhance caregiver quality of life but could also be economically advantageous for payers and providers.

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