Background: Parents of young children are responsible for daily type 1 diabetes (T1DM) cares including insulin bolusing. For optimal insulin pump management, parents should enter a blood glucose result (SMBG) and a carbohydrate estimate (if food will be consumed) into the bolus advisor in their child's pump to assist in delivering the recommended insulin bolus. Previously, pump adherence behaviors were described in adolescents; we describe these behaviors in a sample of young children.
Methods: Pump data covering between 14-30 consecutive days were obtained for 116 children. Assessed adherence to essential pump adherence behaviors (eg, SMBG, carbohydrate entry, and insulin use) and adherence to 3 Wizard/Bolus Advisor steps: SMBG-carbohydrate entry-insulin bolus delivered.
Results: Parents completed SMBG ≥4 times on 99% of days, bolused insulin ≥3 times on 95% of days, and entered carbohydrates ≥3 times on 93% of days, but they corrected for hyperglycemia (≥250 mg/dl or 13.9 mmol/l) only 63% of the time. Parents completed Wizard/Bolus Advisor steps (SMBG, carbohydrate entry, insulin bolus) within 30 minutes for 43% of boluses. Inverse correlations were found between children's mean daily glucose and the percentage of days with ≥4 SMBG and ≥3 carbohydrate entries as well as the percentage of boluses where all Wizard/Bolus Advisor steps were completed.
Conclusions: Parents of young children adhered to individual pump behaviors, but showed some variability in their adherence to Wizard/Bolus Advisor steps. Parents showed low adherence to recommendations to correct for hyperglycemia. Like adolescents, targeting pump behaviors in young children may have the potential to optimize glycemic control.
Keywords: adherence; bolus calculator software; insulin pumps; preschool-age children; type 1 diabetes mellitus.