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Slovenska pediatrija 2016; 23: 149-154


Research article

THE IMPORTANCE OF REGULAR CONTINUOUS EDUCATION FOR CHILDREN AND ADOLESCENTS WITH TYPE 1 DIABETES AND THEIR FAMILIES

A. Gianini
Klinični oddelek za endokrinologijo, diabetes in presnovne bolezni, Pediatrična klinika, Univerzitetni klinični center Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenija

N. Bratina
Klinični oddelek za endokrinologijo, diabetes in presnovne bolezni, Pediatrična klinika, Univerzitetni klinični center Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenija

Abstract

Theoretical background and aim of the study: Type 1 diabetes is a common, autoimmune disorder that affects mainly young people. The aim of the study, which was done in the Department of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolic Disorders, was to determine the level of knowledge of type 1 diabetes and of the principles of management of diabetes in children and adolescents who had two consecutive extended annual medical examinations in a period of 12 months. Method: 140 children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes participated in the study. They entered the “Annual Extended Examinations” programme and completed a structured survey entitled “Knowledge of Management of Type 1 Diabetes”. The children and adolescents received additional training about diabetes treatment after their first annual extended examination. Results: The analysis of the present study showed a statistically significant link between the HbA1c levels and knowledge about diabetes treatment. There are statistically significant differences in knowledge about type 1 diabetes in the group of children according to the number of blood sugar measurements. The adolescents with poor knowledge of type 1 diabetes have the same number of problems in the management of diabetes as adolescents with better knowledge. If compared by gender, girls demonstrated a better knowledge after the first education compared to boys, while adolescents with lower BMI also have a better knowledge about diabetes. Discussion: The study on the importance of education for children and adolescents with diabetes showed that regular education about diabetes is crucial for good metabolic control. The results of our study provide additional future research options focussing on different target groups.

Key words: type 1 diabetes, health education, test of knowledge of diabetes, metabolic control, children, adolescents.

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