Virtual Group Appointments Reduce Distress and Improve Care Management in Young Adults with Type 1 Diabetes

J Diabetes Sci Technol. 2021 Jul 30:19322968211035768. doi: 10.1177/19322968211035768. Online ahead of print.


PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to analyze the impact of virtual group appointments (VGA) on self-reported health-related outcomes and care activities for young adults (YA) with type 1 diabetes (T1D).

METHODS: Fifty-three YA (ages 18-25 years) with T1D participated in a randomized controlled trial (RCT) of the Colorado Young Adults with T1D (CoYoT1) Clinic intervention, encompassing telehealth (TH) with or without VGA. Both new patients (n = 32) and those who participated in a pilot phase (n = 26) were randomized to CoYoT1 Clinic (TH+VGA; n = 23) or TH-only (n = 35) and followed for 1 year. YA completed the Diabetes Distress Scale (DDS), Diabetes Strengths and Resilience (D-STAR), Self-Efficacy in Diabetes (SED), Self-Management of Type 1 Diabetes in Adolescence (SMOD-A), Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression (CES-D), and EuroQol (EQ-5D) scales at baseline and study end.

RESULTS: YA were 67% female, 84% white, 10% Latinx, and the mean age was 20.4 years old. At study end, participants in CoYoT1 Clinic reported significantly reduced diabetes distress compared to those in TH-only, who reported increased levels [Effect Size (ES) = -0.40, P = .02]. Specifically, CoYoT1 Clinic participants reported relative reductions in Physician (ES = -2.87, P = .02) and Regimen-related distress (ES = -0.35, P = .01). In addition, participants in CoYoT1 Clinic reported improved self-management of T1D-related problem solving (ES = 0.47, P = .051) and communication with care providers (ES = 0.39, P = .07).

CONCLUSIONS: Virtual group attendance in CoYoT1 Clinic was associated with significant improvements in diabetes-related distress. Long-term exposure to VGA should be investigated in YA with T1D and other pediatric chronic conditions.

PMID:34328029 | DOI:10.1177/19322968211035768

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