Recent literature suggests that disparities in prescribed treatments may exist for youth with type 1 diabetes. There is limited research to date examining factors associated with prescribed regimen intensity in this population. In this study, we examined racial/ethnic differences in regimen intensity and predictors of regimen intensity in youth with type 1 diabetes. We expected that minority youth would have less intensive regimens and that caregiver and physician perceptions would be associated with regimen intensity. This cross-sectional study included 178 families of 10- to 17-yr-old youth at three endocrinology clinics. Caregivers reported perceived costs and benefits of intensive regimens. Physicians described the prescribed treatment and their perceptions of family/child competence and self-management. Analyses included analysis of covariance and hierarchical multiple linear regression. Findings indicate a disparity in regimen intensity for minority youth. Caregiver perceptions of costs associated with intensive regimens and physician perceptions of family competence are associated with prescribed regimen intensity. Interventions targeting disparities in prescribed regimen intensity should be considered. Further research is needed to understand the role of family perceptions of treatments and physician clinical decision making in addressing health disparities in type 1 diabetes.
© 2011 John Wiley & Sons A/S.