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Original Article

Parental Perspectives of Diabetes Management in Alabama Public Schools

Jason P. Skelley, BS, David R. Luthin, PhD, Jessica W. Skelley, PharmD, Edmond K. Kabagambe, DVM, PhD, Ambika P. Ashraf, MD, Joycelyn A. Atchison, MD
Volume: 106 Issue: 4 April, 2013

Abstract:

Objectives: The purpose of this study was to assess parental perceptions of the current state of care for children with diabetes in the Alabama public school system, identify existing disparities, and determine what resources would most improve diabetes management in this setting. There is a significant need for such information because of the paucity of published data on the current state of diabetes care in Alabama public schools.


Methods: We based our survey on the American Diabetes Association guidelines and collected responses on the Internet via SurveyMonkey and by paper surveys. We distributed surveys to parents of children with diabetes through the Children’s Hospital endocrinology clinic, a diabetes camp, and through the Alabama Association of School Nurses e-mail listserv.


Results: A majority of children had type 1 diabetes mellitus. Students who could conveniently check their blood glucose levels (BGLs) at school were significantly more likely to participate in all school activities and their parents were significantly more likely to be satisfied with their child’s diabetes care at school. Compared with minority students (defined as all races other than white), white students were more likely to be able to conveniently check their BGLs at school.


Conclusions: The accommodation and care for children with diabetes is highly variable within much of the Alabama public school system. The ability to conveniently check BGLs at school is key for participation in all school activities and for parental satisfaction with diabetes care at school. Institution of a uniform, statewide diabetes training protocol for school personnel could improve care and parental satisfaction.

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