Transitional Needs of Australian Young Adults With Type 1 Diabetes: Mixed Methods Study Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • BACKGROUND:Young adulthood is marked by transitions that impact diabetes self-management behaviors, which require ongoing diabetes education and support. Traditional diabetes education programs and services currently do not meet the needs of many young adults with type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) as they continue to fall through the cracks of clinical services. Age-centered diabetes education programs and services present an opportunity for young adults to meet in a supportive environment and gain a better understanding about diabetes management. OBJECTIVE:The aim of the study was to identify the health and well-being needs of Australian young adults aged between 18 and 35 years with T1DM to develop appropriate solutions to keep them engaged with diabetes self-management. METHODS:In total, 13 semistructured individual interviews and self-reported surveys were obtained to understand participants' experiences with diabetes education programs and services. Together with survey data, transcribed interviews were analyzed into themes and categories using comparative analysis to identify the health and well-being needs of young adults with T1DM during young adulthood. RESULTS:Diabetes education and service needs for young adults with T1DM related to improving access to existing diabetes education programs and services, having credible informational resources, as well as having personalized diabetes management advice. Participants especially valued relevant and real-time information and opportunities for peer support, mostly sourced from Web-based platforms. CONCLUSIONS:There is a need for diabetes education programs and services to be age-appropriate and easily accessible, to provide relevant and credible information, and to provide opportunities for peer support to better support young adults with T1DM. These findings also support the use of diabetes education programs or services delivered online through mHealth systems in this population.

publication date

  • 2017