Open communication helps teens manage type 1 diabetes

It’s a simple concept, but new research reinforces the idea: Teens with type 1 diabetes benefit when they feel their concerns have been heard.

Teens with type 1 diabetes may experience anger, frustration and anxiety if they haven’t met their treatment goals. Their parents and health care providers may also feel frustrated and may blame the teen. But the new study suggests that interventions designed to improve diabetes-related care and communication could improve a teen’s diabetes self-management.

“The biggest thing people don’t understand about living with type 1 diabetes is that patients become physicians essentially, and doctors and staff become consultants,” said the study’s lead author, Dr. Harold Starkman. He’s the director of pediatric endocrinology at the BD Diabetes Center at Atlantic Health System’s Goryeb Children’s Hospital in Morristown, N.J.

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