Advertisement

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

  • Danielle C. McCollum
  • Olivia Mason
  • Mary B. Codd
  • Michael J. O’Grady
Original Article
  • 47 Downloads

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.

Keywords

Children Legislation School Type 1 diabetes 

Notes

Author contributions

DMcC researched data and wrote the first manuscript draft. OM and MC conducted the data analysis and critically revised the manuscript. MOG designed the study, conceived the study instrument, researched data and revised the manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all participants described in this paper.

References

  1. 1.
    Roche EF, McKenna AM, Ryder KJ, Brennan AA, O'Regan M, Hoey HM (2016) Is the incidence of type 1 diabetes in children and adolescents stabilising? The first 6 years of a National Register. Eur J Pediatr 175:1913–1919CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Desrocher M, Rovet J (2004) Neurocognitive correlates of type 1 diabetes mellitus in childhood. Child Neuropsychol 10:36–52CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Meo SA, Alkahlan MA, Al-Mubarak MA et al (2013) Impact of type 1 diabetes mellitus on academic performance. J Int Med Res 41:855–858CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Gaudieri PA, Chen R, Greer TF, Holmes CS (2008) Cognitive function in children with type 1 diabetes: a meta-analysis. Diabetes Care 31:1892–1897CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Persson S, Dahlquist G, Gerdtham UG, Steen Carlsson K (2013) Impact of childhood-onset type 1 diabetes on schooling: a population-based register study. Diabetologia 56:1254–1262CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Cooper MN, McNamara KA, de Klerk NH, Davis EA, Jones TW (2016) School performance in children with type 1 diabetes: a contemporary population-based study. Pediatr Diabetes 17:101–111CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Amillategui B, Mora E, Calle JR, Giralt P (2009) Special needs of children with type 1 diabetes at primary school: perceptions from parents, children, and teachers. Pediatr Diabetes 10:67–73CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Halpern LA, Agwu JC (2009) Physical education teachers’ knowledge of type 1 diabetes. Arch Dis Child 94:483–484CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Gormanous M, Hunt A, Pope J, Gerald B (2002) Lack of knowledge of diabetes among Arkansas public elementary teachers: implications for dietitians. J Am Diet Assoc 102:1136–1138CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Hellems MA, Clarke WL (2007) Safe at school: a Virginia experience. Diabetes Care 30:1396–1398CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Hawkes CP, Murphy NP (2014) Paediatric type 1 diabetes in Ireland—results of the first national audit. Ir Med J 107:102–104PubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Pal R, Edge J (2013) Oxfordshire Childrens diabetes—the primary schools intervention Programme. BMJ Qual Improv Rep 2(1)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Pinelli L, Zaffani S, Cappa M, Carboniero V, Cerutti F, Cherubini V, Chiarelli F, Colombini MI, la Loggia A, Pisanti P, Vanelli M, Lorini R (2011) The ALBA project: an evaluation of needs, management, fears of Italian young patients with type 1 diabetes in a school setting and an evaluation of parents’ and teachers’ perceptions. Pediatr Diabetes 12:485–493CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Särnblad S, Berg L, Detlofsson I, Jönsson A, Forsander G (2014) Diabetes management in Swedish schools: a national survey of attitudes of parents, children, and diabetes teams. Pediatr Diabetes 15:550–556CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Särnblad S, Åkesson K, Fernström L, Ilvered R, Forsander G (2016) Improved diabetes management in Swedish schools: results from two national surveys. Pediatr Diabetes.  https://doi.org/10.1111/pedi.12418 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Bixo Ottosson A, Åkesson K, Ilvered R, Forsander G, Särnblad S (2017) Self-care management of type 1 diabetes has improved in Swedish schools according to children and adolescents. Acta Paediatr 106:1987–1993.  https://doi.org/10.1111/apa.13949 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Skoleliv, Danish Diabetes Association 2008; http://www.diabetes.dk

Copyright information

© Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PaediatricsRegional Hospital MullingarMullingarIreland
  2. 2.Centre for Support and Training in Analysis and Research (CSTAR)University College DublinDublin 4Ireland
  3. 3.School of Public Health, Physiotherapy and Sports ScienceUniversity College DublinDublin 4Ireland
  4. 4.Women’s and Children’s Health, School of MedicineUniversity College DublinDublin 4Ireland

Personalised recommendations