Review: children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes can have the same quality of life as those without it

A child tests her blood sugar

A new systematic review summarises a number of studies that examined how diabetes affects the quality of life of children and adolescents.

Clinical question:

In children with type 1 diabetes, is quality of life worse compared with the general population?

The evidence:

Is it not clear exactly how the reviewers calculated the “effect size” on quality of life.  However, they concluded that:

the weighted effect sizes across all studies indicated no differences in QoL-domains between children and adolescents with T1DM and healthy controls.

However, the review does report on specific problem areas in dealing with diabetes that affect children’s quality of life, and notes that girls seemed to have a lower quality of life than boys.  Children’s care should be tailored to the areas they experience as problematic.

Appraisal hints:

  • Consider how quality of life was defined and measured.  Was this valid and consistent from study to study?
  • Did the reviewer do enough to find all of the relevant evidence?
  • The studies were not assessed by two independent reviewers.
  • How was data extracted from the studies?  Could this data have been biased by being taken out of context from the original studies?

Reference:

Hartman E.  Quality of life of children with type 1 diabetes, a systematic revew. Curr Diabetes Rev. 2012 Aug 24. [Epub ahead of print]

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Badenoch

Badenoch
I am an information scientist with an interest in making knowledge from systematic research more accessible to people who need it. This means you. I've been attempting this in the area of Evidence-Based Health Care since 1995. So far the results have been mixed. For some reason we expected busy clinicians to search databases and appraise papers instead of seeing patients. We also expected publishers to make the research freely available to the people who paid for it.. Ha! Hence The National Elf service.

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