In addition to the knowledge of the daily physical activity performed (PAP), the analysis of the social network perceived directly by the same young patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) could provide useful information to manage their diabetes. The aim of this study was to evaluate the presence of a relationship between the patients’ social networks, the PAP and the metabolic control maintained in young subjects with T1DM. Interviews were conducted in 16 subjects with T1DM (males/females: 7/9), mean age 15,5±3,8 years, duration of diabetes 6,6±4,9 years, mean HbA1c (at baseline) 7,3±1,7% (year before) 7.3±1.6%, body mass index (BMI) 21,6±2,9 kg/m2 and in 12 age and BMI matched healthy control subjects. Participants were asked to fill in an egocentric social network map, which was divided into 5 areas: family, school, health care, leisure and sport activities, other. It was assigned a value ranging from 0 (none) to 5 (maximum) to define importance and frequency of the relationships reported. The PAP was evaluated by the Physical Activity Questionnaire for Children (PAQ-C) and Adolescents (PAQ-A). While the analysis of the PAP and of the glycemic control maintained did not show any correlation with the other parameters, the analysis of the network showed that the frequency reported on the area of leisure and sport activities was significantly lower in the patient group in comparison to controls (4,2±1,8 vs. 3,1±1,0; p<0,05). From the analysis of the two groups, the young patients investigated reported to attend significantly fewer sports clubs (3.3±0.8 vs. 4.2±0.8, p<0.01) and have less contact with teammates (2.8±1.5 vs. 4.2±1.3; p<0.05). However, they mainly attend hospital (2.0±1.1 vs. 0.6±0.7; p <0.001) and friendly societies (1.5±1.1 vs. 0.1±0.4; p<0.001). The results of this pilot study showed that the analysis of patients’ social networks could contribute to improving knowledge and therefore providing additional information useful for better management of these patients.


P. Francia: None. B. Piccini: None. U. Santosuosso: None. G. Iannone: None. L. Capirchio: None. A. Vittori: None. M. Gulisano: None. S. Toni: None.

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