Young people with type 1 diabetes wanted to trial new app

by Barbara Hewitt on January 30, 2013

Young people with type 1 diabetes wanted to trial new app

Scientists are looking for 200 young people with type 1 diabetes in the UK to take part in a pilot for a new app aimed at helping them get the most from their health appointments. It is part of a research programme being funded by charity Diabetes UK and being carried out by Dr Jonathan Pinkney of the Peninsula Medical School.

Participants must be aged between 16 and 25, have type 1 diabetes, attend a UK clinic for diabetes treatment and have an upcoming diabetes healthcare appointment scheduled before the end of February 2013 so that they can use the app and report back, at the latest, by March 2013.

‘Previous research has suggested that many young people with type 1 diabetes think that they are not listened to by doctors when they are seen at their diabetes clinic appointments. This can leave them frustrated and make them feel like they have not got what they need from these visits. In turn, this is sometimes associated with higher blood glucose levels and can contribute to a poorer quality of life overall,’ said a Diabetes UK spokesman.

Dr Pinkney and his colleagues at the Peninsula Medical School and the University of Plymouth think that an app for mobile devices might help young people with diabetes to set out the things they want to talk about during these appointments, leading to more satisfying outpatient visits.

This study is the first step in testing that idea and as part of the Diabetes App Challenge, which began in June 2012, young people with type 1 diabetes have developed six different apps. The researchers now want other young people with type 1 diabetes to try out one of these apps during a clinic appointment to help them find out which work best and to understand why.

Young people who take part in the study will have the opportunity to use one of the new apps, which may help them to identify issues that they want to talk about during their next diabetes clinic appointment and therefore help to make the appointment more relevant. Participation in the study will also help the researchers to develop apps that have been designed and tested by young people with diabetes.

Quote from : “I had an application for my Blackberry and my Android. It was nice I could move the program from one to the other without losing any of my date. However this application does not work on the Iphones so I am looking for a new one. Does anyone here have an Iphone and what application are you using if so?”

‘In the longer term, the study findings could lay the foundation for research to improve young people’s attendance at, and satisfaction with, healthcare consultations and therefore help to improve health services for all young people with diabetes,’ the spokesman explained.

Participants will be asked to complete an online questionnaire, including basic information such as age, gender, how long they have had diabetes, which hospital they visit and when their next consultation is due. They will also be asked to rate things such as: how well hospital doctors understand their needs; how well outpatient consultations have focused on what they want; how much they and their clinic doctors agree; how satisfied they have been with recent consultations; and how confident they feel in dealing with their diabetes.

They will also be asked to take part in an online discussion forum where the researchers will present their results and give details of which app was the most popular and what was thought of each app. They will also discuss how apps could be developed further, present possible ideas for future studies and ask participants for their views.

The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of the Community and should not be interpreted as medical advice. Please see your doctor before making any changes to your diabetes management plan.

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