Improved glycemic control in adolescents with type 1 diabetes mellitus who attend diabetes camp

Pediatr Diabetes. 2008 Feb;9(1):29-34. doi: 10.1111/j.1399-5448.2007.00285.x.


Objective: Diabetes camp has become a common part of medical practice worldwide. Although patients' knowledge and self-management of diabetes may improve after camp, improved glycated hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) levels have not been consistently demonstrated.

Research design and methods: We performed a retrospective study of medical records at the Children's Medical Center Dallas Endocrinology Center for adolescents with type 1 diabetes aged 12-18 yr. We compared patients who did (n = 77) or did not (n = 106) attend Camp Sweeney, a regional 20-d diabetes camp. Some patients (n = 82) and their parents also completed measures of adherence, depression, and quality of life.

Results: HbA1c decreased over time in patients who attended diabetes camp {mean [+/-standard deviation (SD)] at baseline, (T1) = 8.6% (+/-1.8%) and at follow-up, (T2) = 8.3% (+/-1.6%)}, whereas it increased in those who did not attend [mean (+/-SD) at T1 = 8.4% (+/-2.1%) and at T2 = 8.9% (+/-2.3%)] (p < 0.005). Seven months after camp (T3), there were still significant differences in HbA1c between the camp and control groups (p = 0.04), with the difference because of persistent improvement for girls but not for boys. Patients' adherence (p < 0.05) and adjustment (p < 0.05) improved by parental report in those who attended camp; parents of patients who did not attend did not report the change.

Conclusions: Attending Camp Sweeney is associated with improved glycemic control and parent-reported adherence and adjustment in adolescents with type 1 diabetes. Additional studies are needed to determine whether these findings can be generalized to other diabetes camps.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism*
  • Camping*
  • Child
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / blood*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / psychology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / rehabilitation*
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Parents / psychology
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Quality of Life
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Self Care
  • Texas


  • Blood Glucose
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A