???Through PREP-Care, we are empowering teenagers to take increased responsibility for their diabetes decisions and positioning them to move from pediatric to adult health care when the time comes.??? - Marilyn Clougherty, RN, MSN, CDE, diabetes program coordinator, Children???s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC


Grant Application

Marilyn Clougherty, RN, MSN, CDE, Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, in partnership with Linda Siminerio, RN, PhD, CDE, and Jodi Krall, PhD, at the University of Pittsburgh Diabetes Institute


Proposed Innovation

Diabetes is one of the most common diseases in children, requiring constant parental management and decision-making. As adolescents with diabetes transition into adulthood, however, they need to begin taking greater responsibility for their own care. This transition can be challenging for patients and parents, leading to poor metabolic control and compromised quality of life.

This project was designed to fill a void by providing age-appropriate training to young patients during their adolescent years to help them make informed decisions about their health and lifestyle choices. PREP-Care (Pediatric Resources to Engage Patients in their Diabetes Care) tools engaged adolescent patients in making decisions about their care using visual aids, diabetes risk and self-care assessments, and goal-setting and planning forms.


Improvements in Action

Diabetes educators used PREP-Care during clinic visits to teach young patients about the risks and consequences of poor glycemic control. The goal was to improve their knowledge, skills, and confidence, enabling them to take increasing control of their own condition and integrate effective self-management into their daily lives.

Thirty-one adolescent patients with diabetes (ages 14 to 18) were recruited to participate in the PREP-Care project through three clinic visits over a six-month period. The project was evaluated after six months to assess the impact on glucose control, diabetes self-management, and satisfaction.


Results – In Progress

The overall effectiveness of the project will be evaluated once all enrolled patients have completed the projected. However, early results show that 68 percent of all patients improved glucose control between visits one and two (a three-month period). And, 67 percent of those patients who completed the project improved glucose control between visits one and three (a six-month period). Both parents and adolescents expressed a high level of satisfaction with the project, saying PREP-Care helped them learn more about diabetes and good glucose control. It also helped teens set and meet their diabetes goals.

The next step will be to use PREP-Care to teach adolescent patients about other aspects of diabetes care, such as eye exams, and integrate PREP-Care into the transition to adult diabetes care clinic.