Patient-centered diabetes care in children: an integrated, individualized, systems-oriented, and multidisciplinary approach

Gunver S. Kienle, Michael Meusers, Birgit Quecke, Dörte Hilgard
Article-ID: DMS-20535-EN

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Patient-centered diabetes care in children: an integrated, individualized, systems-oriented, and multidisciplinary approach

Background: Type 1 diabetes mellitus in children is associated with various medical, psychological, emotional, social, and organizational hurdles. Patient-centered disease management should address all patient-relevant issues in an individualized, systems-oriented, and multidisciplinary approach. Case: A 10-year-old girl with type 1 diabetes mellitus, a developmental disorder with motor and sensory dysfunction and dyscalculia was cared for full-time by her mother and an assistant nurse. Receiving standard intensified insulin therapy, she still had poor glucose control with frequent mild and severe hypoglycemic episodes. She was socially isolated and not able to attend peer activities and was frustrated with her situation. The mother was substantially stressed, and the child-mother relationship was endangered. The girl and her family were referred to an integrated, patient-centered, and highly individualized, multidisciplinary diabetic care program that offered self-management education courses and psychosomatic care. A core element was to switch the main focus from technical management and laboratory data to the girl and her specific problems, wishes, goals, needs, and conditions. The child became an active partner in management and decisions. The program offered age-appropriate activities. Consequently, the girl was able to successively self-manage her disease, resulting in a substantial improvement in glucose control, quality of life, satisfaction, and the relationship between mother and daughter. Conclusion: Increasing technical sophistication in diabetes management tends to lay the focus on biomedical outcomes. Improved medical and psychosocial results may be achieved when the patient and his or her needs, hurdles, goals, and psychological and social issues are made central to the care he or she receives.

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