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28.11.2018 | Original Article

Management of type 1 diabetes in primary schools in Ireland: a cross-sectional survey

Zeitschrift:
Irish Journal of Medical Science (1971 -)
Autoren:
Danielle C. McCollum, Olivia Mason, Mary B. Codd, Michael J. O’Grady

Abstract

Background

Parents reported experiences of support for diabetes management in schools are variable. Recent data from European countries are sparse and experiences in the Irish primary school setting have not been described previously.

Aim

To describe parents’ experiences of support for diabetes management in primary schools in Ireland.

Methods

Questionnaires were distributed through nine regional and tertiary paediatric diabetes services to parents of children aged 4–13 years with type 1 diabetes attending primary school. Data sought included patient demographics, treatment regimens, diabetes education of school staff, assistances received, and interactions between the school and family.

Results

Responses were received from 418 parents of primary school children with type 1 diabetes. Twenty-six percent of children were not on intensive insulin therapy. Children on a multiple daily injection regime who were unable to self-administer insulin had administration facilitated by attendance of a parent in 95% of cases. Seventy-eight percent of parents were phoned by the school regarding diabetes management, particularly those of younger children (p < 0.001). More than half of parents attended the school at least once per month to assist with diabetes management, particularly those of younger children (p < 0.001). Younger children were also more likely to have a special needs assistant (p < 0.001) and have a written management plan (p = 0.001).

Conclusions

Our research has demonstrated deficits in care with respect to access to intensive insulin therapy, individualised care plans and a high burden on families which should be addressed through the National Clinical Programme for Paediatrics and Neonatology and relevant government departments.

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