Heterogeneity in the systems of pediatric diabetes care across the European Union

Pediatr Diabetes. 2012 Sep;13 Suppl 16:5-14. doi: 10.1111/j.1399-5448.2012.00907.x.


Background: It is known that the systems of pediatric diabetes care differ across the member states of the European Union (EU). The aim of this project was to characterize some of the main differences among the national systems.

Methods: Data were collected using two questionnaires. The first one was distributed among leading centers of pediatric diabetes (one per country) with the aim of establishing an overview of the systems, national policies, quality control (QC) and financing of pediatric diabetes care. Responses were received from all 27 EU countries. The second questionnaire was widely disseminated among all 354 International Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Diabetes members with a domicile in an EU country; it included questions related to individual pediatric diabetes centers. A total of 108 datasets were collected and processed from healthcare professionals who were treating more than 29 000 children and adolescents with diabetes. Data on the reimbursement policies were verified by representatives of the pharmaceutical and medical device companies.

Results: The collected data reflect the situation in 2009. There was a notable heterogeneity among the systems for provision of pediatric diabetes care across the EU. Only 20/27 EU countries had a pediatric diabetes register. Nineteen countries had officially recognized centers for pediatric diabetes, but only nine of them had defined criteria for becoming such a center. A system for QC of pediatric diabetes at the national level was reported in 7/26 countries. Reimbursement for treatment varied significantly across the EU, potentially causing inequalities in access to modern technologies.

Conclusions: The collected data help develop strategies toward improving equity and access to modern pediatric diabetes care across Europe.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Delivery of Health Care* / methods
  • Delivery of Health Care* / organization & administration
  • Delivery of Health Care* / standards
  • Diabetes Mellitus / epidemiology
  • Diabetes Mellitus / mortality
  • Diabetes Mellitus / therapy*
  • Education, Medical / methods
  • Education, Medical / organization & administration
  • Endocrinology / methods
  • Endocrinology / organization & administration
  • Endocrinology / standards
  • European Union / organization & administration
  • European Union / statistics & numerical data
  • Geography
  • Health Personnel / standards
  • Health Personnel / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Internationality
  • Pediatrics / methods*
  • Pediatrics / organization & administration
  • Pediatrics / standards
  • Quality of Health Care
  • Reference Standards
  • Surveys and Questionnaires