Communication frequency between visits is associated with improved glycemic control in pediatric diabetes

Rohini Verma, Chrystal G. Thomas, Margaret West, Laura Prichett, Christine Glancey, Julia Tracey, Kristin Arcara, Sheela Magge, Risa M. Wolf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Children with diabetes are advised to see their diabetes team every 3 months, with interim communication to address insulin dose adjustments. Despite increasing digital accessibility, there is limited data on whether provider-patient communication frequency is associated with glycemic control in pediatric diabetes. We assessed patterns of communication between diabetes clinic visits and whether communication frequency via electronic messaging (EM) and telephone was associated with glycemic control in pediatric diabetes. Retrospective chart review of 267 children with type 1 (T1DM) and type 2 diabetes (T2DM) over a 1-year period (July 2018-June 2019) at an urban academic pediatric diabetes center. Association between frequency of communication (via EM and telephone) and HbA1c was analyzed using regression analysis. Of 267 participants, 224 (84%) had T1DM, 43 (16%) had T2DM, mean age 11.6 years (SD 4), mean duration of diabetes 3.5 years (SD 3.4), and mean HbA1c 73.8 ± 23 mmol/mol (8.9 ± 2.2%). Most participants (82%) communicated with their diabetes team at least once per year, with a mean number of overall communications of 10.3 ± 13.6 times. Communications were via EM (48%), phone (40%), or both (53%). Participants with more frequent communication had lower HbA1c values (p=0.007), even when controlling for age, sex, provider, and number of clinic visits per year. We determined that a threshold of three communications per year was associated with a lower HbA1c (p=0.006). More frequent communication with the diabetes team between visits is associated with improved glycemic control. Initiatives to contact diabetes patients between clinic visits may impact their overall glycemic control.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Pediatric Endocrinology and Metabolism
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • Communication
  • Electronicmessaging
  • Pediatric diabetes
  • Type 1 diabetes
  • Type 2 diabetes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology

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