Influences on technology use and interpretation among young people living with type 1 diabetes

Laura N. Cushley*, Aniela Krezel, Katie Curran, Kathryn Parker, Sarinda Millar, Tunde Peto

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

Aims
To characterise continuous glucose monitor and flash glucose monitor use and related issues (both positive and negative) in the population of children and young people living with type 1 diabetes in the Southern Health and Social Care Trust (SHSCT), Northern Ireland.

Methods
Four focus groups were conducted in the SHSCT with people with type 1 diabetes and their families, to assess opinions of diabetes technology. In addition, questionnaires were distributed to diabetes specialist nurses (DSNs), young people and their families about use and access to diabetes technology.

Results
Questionnaires were completed by 68 children, young people (0–18 years) and their parents/guardians. Nearly all (98.5%) had access to their own diabetes related data, and 70.6% used diabetes data systems, for example, Libreview. Most of those using these systems found them beneficial and easy for daily use and clinical review.

Most DSNs (83.9%) agreed that the systems were easy to use, and 82.3% were confident in interpreting the data accurately. DSNs felt virtual review was beneficial in over half of young people with 62.9% advising changes to diabetes management based on the data.

Focus groups participants deemed diabetes technology a ‘gamechanger’ and ‘lifechanging’. Some drawbacks included ‘disruptive’ alarms, self-confidence issues, visible diabetes technology and problems in school.

Conclusions
Most young people, their families and healthcare professionals reported they were confident in interpreting diabetes data and technology was easy to use. Diabetes technology could improve access to care through virtual clinics, improve clinical outcomes and enhance quality of life.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere73
Number of pages6
JournalLifestyle Medicine
Early online date07 Dec 2022
DOIs
Publication statusEarly online date - 07 Dec 2022

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