April 15, 2013

Fitting-in at the Cost of bG Adherence

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teensTeenagers don’t like being told what to do. When you add T1D to equation, you have a schedule of adherence to testing your blood. The  Journal of Adolescent Health published a study about the momentary social context and bG adherence in T1D adolescents.

How does “momentary social context” have anything to do with adherence to glucose checks? Well, the findings of this study took a look at who, what, when, and why kids do or don’t stick to their glucose testing needs.

Examples of social context factors are location, companionship, and attitudes toward companions at the times they usually checked their glucose. As a control, they checked their sugar again 30 minutes later to report whether they checked their glucose and, if not, why.

The adherence was gauged using adjustments for age, sex, duration of T1D, and pump use. This study was conducted over 14 days on adolescents between the ages of 14-18, with the duration of T1D greater than 1 year.

Of the 36 participants, the odds of checking glucose seemed  higher when participants expressed very strong desire to blend in. Strong desire to impress others was associated with decreased likelihood of checking glucose. Location, solitude, type of companion, and attitudes toward companions were not significantly associated with checking glucose.

It’s interesting that the participants who wanted to remain unnoticed for their glucose testing, seemed to care more about not “rocking the boat”. However, the kids who wanted to impress others seemed to care less about throwing caution to the wind when it comes to glucose testing compliance.

Confidence is a huge player in the game of life. The challenge is gaining confidence in the face of something that can be inherently self-defeating, if you let it. Don’t let diabetes run the show. Be the boss!

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