Are diabetic children who follow clinical practice guidelines healthier as adults than those who don’t?
The incidence of Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is growing, with the greatest rise being in children between one and four years of age. The high prevalence of the disease among children and youth is expected to increase the incidence of chronic heart, kidney and eye disease, in adulthood.
“Childhood and adolescence are crucial times when intensive diabetes care can set a trajectory for optimal adult health,” says Dr Shazhan Amed, Clinical Associate Professor at the University of British Columbia. Previous research by Dr Amed has shown that health care services provided to children and youth with T1D in BC are sub-optimal, with recommended clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) not always followed.
Data access has been approved for a new project, funded by the Canadian Diabetes Association, which aims to answer the critical question as to whether following CPGs for T1D management has an impact on patient health outcomes.
“We anticipate that increased adherence to CPGs will have a positive relationship with health outcomes. However, we may find that many children have good outcomes despite poor adherence to CPGs and other children have poor outcomes despite good adherence” says Dr. Amed. “If this is the case, the project will prompt further research to identify which factors play a significant role in determining patient outcomes. The findings of our project will be used to develop, test and evaluate quality improvement solutions that will enhance the care of children and youth with diabetes and other chronic diseases.”
This study is part of a larger project which will analyze data from patient and caregiver surveys, focus groups and interviews, to investigate the factors which are perceived to be facilitators and barriers to adherence to T1D treatment regimens by children, youth and families.
PopData will link data from the BC Ministry of Health with researcher-collected data for the project.