Aims: To improve the quality of care in children with Type 1 diabetes who have limited access to specialized diabetes care in rural areas, by providing a mobile diabetes education and care team, affiliated with a University hospital paediatric diabetes centre. Methods: A cohort of 107 children and their families from eight rural hospitals was followed between July 2000 and July 2002. Parameters on quality of metabolic control (HbA1c, hospitalization rate and number of episodes of severe hypoglycaemia), diabetes knowledge and quality of life at baseline (t0), 6 weeks (t1) and 6 months (t2) after the interventions were measured. Results: Mean HbA1c was 7.9 ± 1.4% at t0. The proportion of HbA1c values < 6.8% increased significantly (P < 0.05) and of values > 8.0% decreased significantly (P < 0.01) at t1 and t2. The rate of hospitalization fell significantly by 9.4%, from 16.2% at baseline to 6.8% at t2 (P < 0.05). The children reported significantly better diabetes-specific quality of life (P < 0.05) and higher self-esteem (P < 0.01) after the intervention. Theoretical diabetes knowledge was increased both in the short and long term (P < 0.05). Conclusions: The intervention improved metabolic control, diabetes knowledge and diabetes-specific quality of life. We conclude that high-quality diabetes care in a rural area can be provided by a mobile diabetes education and care team.
Research Areas and Centers
- Academic Focus: Center for Brain, Behavior and Metabolism (CBBM)