BACKGROUND

Few studies have examined the implementation of the International Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Diabetes (ISPAD) Clinical Practice Consensus Guidelines for the Psychological Care of Children and Adolescents with Type 1 Diabetes.

OBJECTIVE

To collect benchmark data on psychosocial staffing and implementation of the ISPAD guidelines across U.S. pediatric diabetes clinics.

METHODS

Medical (n = 95; 77 endocrinologists and 18 advance practice providers) and psychosocial (n = 86; 43 social workers and 43 psychologists) providers from 98 of 115 contacted clinics completed an online survey (85% response rate). Providers reported the number of psychosocial staff and rated the adequacy of psychosocial staffing, quality of psychosocial care, and adherence to the ISPAD guidelines in their clinics. χ2 tests and ANOVA were used to examine differences across clinic size and across medical and psychosocial providers.

RESULTS

Clinics averaged a total of ∼4 hours per week of psychosocial provider time per 100 patients with type 1 diabetes. Only 27% of providers agreed that psychosocial staffing was adequate, and 35% described their psychosocial care as comprehensive. Implementation of the ISPAD guidelines varied across clinics, with minimal differences across clinic size. Medical providers reported that evidence-based psychological assessment and interventions were delivered consistently by <55% of clinics. Psychosocial, compared with medical, providers were more likely to report frequent implementation of psychosocial assessment and intervention guidelines.

CONCLUSION

Psychological care in U.S. pediatric type 1 diabetes clinics does not consistently meet the ISPAD guidelines, and many clinics lack adequate psychosocial staff. These benchmark data are a foundational step to improve psychosocial care for pediatric patients with type 1 diabetes.

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