Adherence Behaviors and Health Status in Childhood Diabetes
Defining adherence to the diabetes regimen is difficult for several reasons. First, there is the vast array of regimen behaviors required. Insulin injections must be given at regular times and appropriately timed in relationship to meals. Dietary proscriptions are numerous; small meals must be taken frequently and certain types of foods, those high in concentrated sweets and fats, are to be minimized. Regular exercise is considered beneficial as it improves insulin utilization and lowers blood glucose, but it must be carefully coordinated with food intake so as to avoid hypoglycemia. Since current treatment methods only approximate normal pancreatic function, wide swings in blood glucose can and do occur. For this reason, patients are encouraged to test their blood glucose two or more times a day. These data are then utilized by the physician and/or patient to make insulin dose, dietary, or other changes to the patient’ s daily regimen. Consequently, defining adherence in childhood diabetes means defining numerous regimen behaviors.
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