Research suggests that many young people with diabetes struggle to engage with health professionals across the transitional years, potentially increasing their risk of suboptimal diabetes care. Diabetes SA aimed to develop a workshop that supports the transition process, and addresses common concerns around life as a young person living with diabetes. This was a collaborative project between with the SA Women’s and Children’s Health Network with support from local adult diabetes services.
Aims: The main aims of the workshop were to encourage and support discussions about transition to adult healthcare between teenagers with diabetes, their family and the diabetes care team. Provide a peer support opportunity for young people with type 1 diabetes and to identify and discuss topics of interest/concerns around transition.
Method: The workshop was an interactive workshop for teenagers with type 1 diabetes aged 12-18 years and their parents/guardians. Topics and delivery of education were determined by results from a needs assessment. The workshop involved personal stories from young people with diabetes, peer led discussion groups and information from paediatric and adults health professionals.
Evaluation: Separate evaluation forms for the teenagers and their parents were used to evaluate both process and impact evaluation. Tools were not validated.
Results: A common trend in the qualitative results suggest that the teenagers and the parents valued the time for open discussion and peer support. The teenage discussion group revealed four main topics of interest/concerns including 1. Does managing diabetes get any easier? 2. Alcohol 3. Diabetes in the workplace 4. Managing exercise. A common trend in the parent evaluations illustrated common issues are experienced, mainly related to ‘general teenager’ behaviours.
Conclusions/recommendations: Results echo the importance of peer support opportunities for young people living with diabetes, which may assist with the transition process. They also suggest the importance of peer support opportunities for parents/guardians.This program could be adapted and piloted for young adults with diabetes to assist with the transition process.