Diabetic Students May Not Be Getting the Recommended Level of Care at School

Adherence to Guidelines for Diabetes Care in School: Family and School Nurse Perspectives. By Sarah A. MacLeish and colleagues. Diabetes Care, April 2013, page e52

What is the problem and what is known about it so far?

The American Diabetes Association created guidelines for taking care of children with diabetes at school. These guidelines aim to keep kids with diabetes safe and include 16 recommendations—for example that there be people at school trained to assist in the event of hypoglycemia (low blood glucose) and to help with insulin injections.

Why did the researchers do this particular study?

The researchers were interested in how well schools followed the Association's guidelines.

Who was studied?

The study included 99 Ohio families that have children with type 1 diabetes (average age 12 years) and 51 school nurses from their schools.

How was the study done?

The researchers administered a survey to the participants that asked them questions related to the Association's guidelines.

What did the researchers find?

For seven out of sixteen of the Association's recommendations, fewer than half of the families reported that their children's schools followed the guidelines. Nurses reported slightly better adherence.

What were the limitations of the study?

Surveys depend on how well people recall events, which is imperfect, thereby skewing the results.

What are the implications of the study?

The study suggests that students may not be getting the care they need while at school and more work needs to be done to ensure that families and school representatives work together to keep students with diabetes safe at school.

  • Last Reviewed: September 13, 2013
  • Last Edited: October 7, 2013