Psychological Care in Children and Adolescents With Type 1 Diabetes in a Real-World Setting and Associations With Metabolic Control

Pediatr Diabetes. 2020 Jun 7. doi: 10.1111/pedi.13065. Online ahead of print.

Abstract

Background: International guidelines recommend psychosocial care for children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes.

Objective: To assess psychological care in children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes in a real-world setting and to evaluate associations with metabolic outcome.

Methods: Delivery of psychological care, HbA1c, and rates of severe hypoglycemia and diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) in children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes from 199 diabetes care centers participating in the German diabetes survey (DPV) were analyzed.

Results: Overall, 12 326 out of 31 861 children with type 1 diabetes were supported by short-term or continued psychological care (CPC). Children with psychological care had higher HbA1c (8.0% vs 7.7%, P<.001) and higher rates of DKA (0.032 vs 0.021 per patient-year, P<.001) compared with children without psychological care. In age-, sex-, diabetes duration-, and migratory background-matched children, HbA1c stayed stable in children supported by CPC during follow-up (HbA1c 8.5% one year before psychological care started vs 8.4% after two years, P = 1.0), whereas HbA1c was lower but increased significantly by 0.3% in children without psychological care (HbA1c 7.5% vs 7.8% after two years, P <.001). Additional HbA1c-matching showed that the change in HbA1c during follow-up was not different between the groups, but the percentage of children with severe hypoglycemia decreased from 16.3% to 10.7% in children receiving CPC compared with children without psychological care (5.5% to 5.8%, P =.009).

Conclusions: In this real-world setting, psychological care was provided to children with higher HbA1c levels. CPC was associated with stable glycemic control and less frequent severe hypoglycemia during follow-up.

Keywords: HbA1c; adolescent; child; clinical; diabetes mellitus, type 1; psychology.