Approximately half of males with T1D report RH complications (e.g., erectile dysfunction, decreased libido, orgasmic dysfunction) as early as 25 years old and/or 10 years after diagnosis. Tight glycemic control can prevent or delay complications, including those related to RH. Yet these sensitive topics are rarely discussed by HCPs. The purpose of this study was to collect qualitative data through a focus group conference call with 6 HCPs about their experiences caring for AYA males with T1D, and their perceptions of the need and recommendations for developing an evidence-based RH educational intervention. A semi-structured discussion guide was used to elicit responses about providing care for this population, experience with managing male RH complications, and their comfort talking to male teens about diabetes and sexual health. Responses were recorded and transcribed verbatim, clustered, and analyzed to identify major themes, using a qualitative descriptive method with 2 researchers discussing themes and reaching agreement. The 6 HCPs were 2 female pediatric diabetologists, 1 male pediatric diabetologist, 2 male adult diabetologists, and a male certified diabetes nurse educator. Following discussion, consensus was reached by all participants that RH was understudied and education was needed in this population. Major themes that emerged: “diabetes risk in the offspring,” “association of the risky behaviors associated with non-adherence in diabetes self-management”, “sex and diabetes” and “professional responsibility and obligation to initiate discussion”, and age to introduce these topics.”
In conclusion, these HCP recommendations will inform the development of a RH program for AYA males with T1D. These suggestions and issues could impact the HCP’s ability to effectively advise and educate AYA males about reproductive/sexual health and diabetes.
A.F.R. Fischl: None. I. Libman: Consultant; Self; Novo Nordisk A/S. D.L. Rofey: None. D. Charron-Prochownik: None.