Life with continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion (CSII) therapy: child and parental perspectives and predictors of metabolic control

Pediatr Diabetes. 2001 Jun;2(2):51-7. doi: 10.1034/j.1399-5448.2001.002002051.x.


Objective: The purpose of this study was twofold (i): to evaluate metabolic control in patients receiving CSII therapy in a routine pediatric diabetes clinic by describing reasons for initiating therapy and daily management issues, including needle fear; and (ii) to assess the change in parental involvement and anxiety once their child initiated CSII therapy.

Research design and methods: The study included 52 subjects (aged 7.6-23.6 yr) from a general pediatric diabetes clinic. Management issues were defined as diet, exercise, home blood glucose monitoring (HBGM) frequency, and self/staff assessment of needle fear. Characteristics were analyzed both according to a 0.5% change in HbA1c status (decreased vs. stable vs. increased) compared with pre-CSII therapy, and final HbA1c achieved (< or = 8.1 vs. > 8.1%).

Results: The primary recommendation source for CSII use was most often the physician/diabetes team (48.1%), followed by a combination of the former with a personal referral source (32.7%). The most common reason (71.2%) for CSII initiation was a combination of wanting to achieve better metabolic control, dislike of insulin injections, and/or increased flexibility in daily living. Over one-quarter (26.9%) of subjects were identified as being needle-fearful, and this characteristic was predictive of final metabolic control (3/25 subjects </= 8.1% vs. 11/27 subjects > 8.1%, p = 0.03). On CSII therapy, dietary carbohydrate consistency was highly variable, and most subjects (65.3%) exclusively used an insulin to carbohydrate ratio for insulin bolus dosage calculation. The most common adjustment strategy (63.5%) for exercise was a combination of decreasing the insulin basal rate, disconnecting the pump, and/or eating extra carbohydrates. For the total cohort, the frequency of HBGM significantly increased on CSII therapy (4.31-4.85 tests/day, p = 0.02). Females did not have a significant change in HBGM frequency, while the youngest subjects had the highest HBGM frequency. Parental involvement and anxiety primarily stayed the same or decreased, regardless of the child's age (< or = 18 vs. > 18 yr) or metabolic control.

Conclusions: Analyses of the various characteristics identified only needle fearfulness as being predictive of poor metabolic control. Interestingly, poor control with CSII therapy did not result in a significant increase in parental involvement and/or anxiety.