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Do Youth Want Psychosocial Screenings in Diabetes Clinic? Profiles of Acceptability

Psychosocial screenings are recommended and increasingly common in pediatric subspecialty clinics, though little is known about their acceptability. This study seeks to uncover profiles of acceptability and assess demographic and clinical correlates among adolescents with diabetes. A sample of 124 adolescents (57.7% female) ages 12-21 years (M = 16.2 ± 2.3) completed screenings during routine diabetes appointments. K-means clustering of responses to acceptability items derived profiles; Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) and Chi-square tests assessed correlates. Adolescents with the most common profile (72.6%) placed high importance on medical providers’ awareness of their emotions and reported no difficulties/discomfort with the screener. These youth had moderate depressive symptoms, low diabetes distress, and low A1c. Those who fit a less common profile (18.5%) were uncomfortable with the screener and had the highest depressive symptoms and lowest A1c. Youth who fit a smaller profile (6.5%) endorsed technical difficulties and had high depressive symptoms and lowest diabetes distress. The smallest profile (2.4%, N = 3) had difficulty understanding and experienced discomfort with the screening and had the lowest depressive symptoms and the highest diabetes distress and A1c. These differences in depressive symptoms (F = 3.54, p = .017), A1c values (F = 4.03, p = .009), and diabetes distress (F = 3.27, p = .036) were significant though differences in age, gender, and diabetes duration were not. Most youth responded favorably to in-clinic psychosocial screenings. Youth who were less satisfied were at increased risk for psychosocial and medical complications. Findings highlight areas of need, such as enhanced support with and an emphasized rationale for screenings, which may improve patient experience in subspecialty care.

Authors: Wong, Jessie J; Hanes, Sarah; Iturralde, Esti; Lanning, Monica S; Naranjo, Diana; Tanenbaum, Molly; Hood, Korey K

J Pediatr Psychol. 2021 03 18;46(3):332-340.

PubMed abstract

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