Back to Daily Care News Feelings About Blood Glucose Monitoring Affects HbA1c in Kids

Feelings About Blood Glucose Monitoring Affects HbA1c in Kids

If you feel scared or frustrated when your blood sugar is high, your A1c is likely to be higher than if you don't feel scared or frustrated. That's the basic conclusion of a study published in the November 2004 Diabetes Care.

A team from the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston and Texas Children's Hospital in Houston created a questionnaire designed to measure the feelings associated with blood glucose monitoring of kids with type 1 diabetes and their parents. Both were asked to report how often (never, sometimes, always) they felt upset, scared, guilt, or frustrated when their blood sugar is high. "Always" and "sometimes" answers scored higher than "never" answers. After analyzing the results, the researchers found that kids who had the highest scores -- indicating the most anxiety surrounding blood glucose monitoring -- also had the highest A1c values.

This chart illustrates the results, showing that kids with the lowest score (i.e., lowest anxiety) had the lowest A1c, and the kids with the highest score (i.e., highest anxiety) had the highest A1c.


The researchers are not sure if the anxiety is the cause of the elevated A1c, but the association is clear. The researchers theorize that part of the issue is that "Youth and families are 'set up' to fail because it is unrealistic to expect youths to meet these goals [optimal blood glucose control] consistently or perfectly."

So what can families learn from this? As parents, we need to realize that a glucose value is just a number. We should help our kids understand that, and thank them for checking their blood sugar, regardless of the results.

For more information, see The Blood Glucose Monitoring Communication Questionnaire: An instrument to measure affect specific to blood glucose monitoring [Diabetes Care 27:2610-2615, 2004].

-- JH      

October 31, 2004

  Back to Daily Care News Return to the Top of This Page

Last Updated: (none)
This Internet site provides information of a general nature and is designed for educational purposes only. If you have any concerns about your own health or the health of your child, you should always consult with a physician or other health care professional.

This site is published by T-1 Today, Inc. (d/b/a Children with Diabetes), a 501c3 not-for-profit organization, which is responsible for its contents. Our mission is to provide education and support to families living with type 1 diabetes.
By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use, Legal Notice, and Privacy Policy.
© Children with Diabetes, Inc. 1995-2018. Comments and Feedback.