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Young-adult perspectives of insulin-dependent diabetes
journal contributionposted on 1995-01-01, 00:00 authored by Patricia Dunning
The purpose of this study was to document the self-care behaviors of patients with type I diabetes, identify their concerns about having diabetes, and measure their level of control (HbA1c). A 20-point questionnaire was mailed to 105 young adults with type I diabetes. Fifty-nine (56%) returned the questionnaire (33 males, mean age 23.2 years; 26 females, mean age 22.7 years). Duration of diabetes was 5 months to 25 years (mean = 11.28 years). HbA1c range was 5% to 13.9% (mean = 7.85%, normal < 6.6%). Sixty-eight percent performed at least one blood glucose test per day and 12% reported not testing at all. The number of insulin injections per day ranged from 2 to 5, and 83% regularly adjusted their insulin dose. Confidence in adjusting insulin was not related to duration of diabetes, age, or sex. Insulin manipulation to control weight was reported by 38% (24 females, 2 males). The long-term complications they were concerned about were eye disease (35%), pregnancy and childbirth (27%), hypoglycemia (13%), and loss of independence (5%). Hypoglycemia was always recognized by 35%, although 50% sometimes confused it with stress, tiredness, and high blood glucose. All subjects reported that hypoglycemia affected their lifestyle.