Grants

???By offering convenient, onsite screenings for our patients and their families ??? and by providing relevant educational tools for pre-teens and adolescents ??? we hope to provide measurable changes in their care that will help preserve their sight over a lifetime." - Amy S. Gilliland, RN, MSN, CDE, Children???s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC

AVAILABILITY OF A PROGRAM TO SCREEN FOR RETINOPATHY IN CHILDREN WITH TYPE I DIABETES: DOES IT IMPROVE COMPLIANCE?

Grant Application

Amy S. Gilliland, RN, MSN, CDE, and Ingrid Libman, MD, PhD, of Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC

 

Proposed Innovation

Children and adolescents with Type 1 diabetes (T1D) are at a high risk of developing vision-threatening retinopathy — a condition that can progress rapidly, especially in those with poor glycemic control. Although the American Diabetes Association and other organizations recommend annual screenings beginning at age 10, many children and their families fail to follow through — often due to barriers such as having to schedule ophthalmologist appointments at another location.

This project is designed to improve access by offering screening for retinopathy at the time of the patient’s regular diabetes visit at the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Diabetes Clinic. In addition, age-appropriate tools developed through the project will help adolescent patients learn about retinopathy, the importance of early screening, and what can be done to prevent or delay blindness.

 

Improvements in Action

Tools already available to adults will be reviewed and modified by the project team for use by children 10 years and older with T1D. Diabetes educators will use the tools during clinic visit to teach young patients about the risk factors associated with the development and progression of retinopathy, such as smoking and the consequences of poor glycemic control. The goal is to empower participating adolescents and their families by improving their understanding of the importance of yearly screenings and prevention of diabetes complications.

 

Results – In Progress

Approximately 50 pre-teen and adolescent patients with diabetes (ages 10 to 18) will be recruited to participate in the project through two clinic visits over a three-month period. The project will be evaluated after three months to assess the impact on the screening participation rate, glycemic control, self-care, and satisfaction.