To study and explore the intervention of the flash glucose monitoring system (FGMS) on diabetes-related distress (DRD) in children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes (T1D).
A 12-week prospective study was performed from March 2019 to July 2019 involving 187 children and adolescents (age range 13-19 years; 56.7% female) with T1D who were self-testing their glucose levels using the conventional fingerprick method. At the time of the baseline visit, FGMS sensors were fixed by a trained diabetes educator onto each patient in the study population. A trained interviewer also administered the 28-item T1-Diabetes Distress Scale (T1-DDS) questionnaire to each participant at the baseline visit and again after 12 weeks to determine the T1-DDS score.
Comparison of the baseline (fingerprick) data with data collected at 12 weeks after the patients had switched to the FGMS revealed a significant decrease in the subdomains of the T1-DDS as follows: powerlessness (p = 0.0001); management distress (p = 0.0001); hypoglycemia distress (p = 0.0001); negative social perceptions (p = 0.0001); eating (p = 0.0001); physician distress (p = 0.0001); friend/family distress (p = 0.0001); and total T1-DDS score (p = 0.0001). Similarly, analysis of the data revealed that there was also a substantial drop from baseline to 12 weeks after initiation of the intervention in the clinical variables assessed, such as glycosylated hemoglobin; specifically, there was a considerable decrease after 12 weeks in the frequency of hypoglycemia. Interestingly, the frequency of glucose monitoring also showed an upswing among users of the FGMS.
The outcomes of this study clearly demonstrate that once the patients had been switched from the fingerprick method to FGMS, the DRD and related clinical parameters showed remarkable improvement. However, further studies are necessary to determine whether the continued and consistent use of the FGMS will achieve better results.