Benefits of psychological support in young people with type 1 diabetes

A review of published clinical trials in patients with type 1 (insulin dependent) diabetes concludes that psychological treatments can improve blood sugar control in children and adolescents. Success in adults is another matter, however.

In 10 studies of children and adolescents, glycated hemoglobin (A1c) was significantly reduced by about 0.48% in those who received psychological intervention compared with those who did not.

But in 11 studies of adults, A1c was reduced just 0.22%.

Diabetics who keep their A1c levels close to 7% have a better chance of delaying or preventing diabetes complications than those with levels 8% or higher.

The authors concluded that psychological support could “slightly improve” blood sugar control. My take is that if young diabetics can lower their A1c by about a half percent, this could be an important contribution to diabetes control. It would be useful to know which diabetics respond best to counceling.

9/16/06 21:01 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.