Commentary on “Comparison of Hand Function Between Children With Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus and Children Without Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus”

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“How should I apply this information?”
This study provides vital information about the effects of type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) on hand function in children. Hand function is an essential component of many gross motor tasks and activities of daily living. Hand dominance for children with T1DM is a factor to consider with regard to functional grip strength and dexterity for writing, moving large objects, and object manipulation. Weakness of the nondominant hand may affect performance of gross motor activities. Difficulty in performing these activities can affect children's health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and may impact the children's ability to manage their disease and other aspects of their life.
“What should I be mindful about when applying this information?”
When integrating the use of upper extremities, specifically hand function during therapeutic play activities, functional training, and object manipulation skills, children with T1DM may demonstrate difficulty with these skills as a result of their disease. It is relevant to be cognizant of these potential limitations and to provide ongoing assessment and monitoring of hand function in this population to prevent further complications. Management of the child's medical condition is required, as poor management may lead to more severe and rapid deterioration in function and a poorer HRQoL. Future longitudinal research is recommended to evaluate hand function, as it relates to self-care and disease management, and to relate hand function to HRQoL.

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