The reasons why children and young people with type 1 diabetes from ethnic minority groups or those living in low socioeconomic areas are less likely to use potentially life-saving technology is the focus of a new study.
In the Diabetes UK-funded project, led by Paediatric Consultant Prof May Ng OBE, researchers around England and Wales are reaching out to children and young people with type 1 diabetes and their parents or guardians to take part in short interviews to gain further understanding of the issues.
Prof Ng said: “Through the National Paediatric Diabetes Audit, we have seen that children and young people from ethnic minority backgrounds across England and Wales are more likely to have higher average blood sugar levels than others with type 1 diabetes but are also less likely to be accessing diabetes technologies such as insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitoring systems (CGMs).
“The incredible technological advances that have been made for people living with type 1 diabetes are life-changing for those who use them. And, although more people from every part of society now use insulin pumps instead of insulin injections, we have seen the gap between insulin pump use and CGM use among children and young people living in the most deprived areas widen compared to the least deprived areas. This gap has widened every year for the last six years.”
She added: “We’re hoping to engage with young people with type 1 diabetes across England and Wales to understand their experiences so we can find ways to break down any barriers to using life-changing technology.
“Our goal is to develop inclusive, practical, and implementable solutions which can be rolled out across the NHS in the future.”
Dr Faye Riley, Research Communications Manager at Diabetes UK said: “We need to make sure every child has the tools and support they need to thrive and live well with type 1 diabetes, and it’s unacceptable that some groups are less likely to be using life-changing diabetes technology.
“By funding Professor Ng and her team’s research we can better understand precisely how ethnicity and deprivation are common factors in inequalities in tech use and begin to identify ways to close the widening gap in access.”
The study is being is being carried out by the Mersey and West Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust in partnership with the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) Leicester Biomedical Research Centre, the University of Cambridge, Imperial College London, the University of Edinburgh, Diabetes Africa, JDRF and Egality.
If you would like to find out more about the study, please email the research team on firstname.lastname@example.org
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