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Recent Efforts from the ENDO Society and ADA Aim to Address Diabetes Care for Young Adults

Twitter summary: Growing up with #diabetes can be complicated. What Drs. Peters and Laffel recommend, and how it relates to a new ENDO toolkit

On July 29, the Endocrine Society released a toolkit to ease the transition from pediatric to adult diabetes care – a time that Dr. Lori Laffel (Joslin Diabetes Center) and Dr. Anne Peters (University of Southern California) say is related to higher rates of hospitalization, decreased satisfaction with care, and decreased healthcare provider visits. This toolkit provides educational resources and information checklists for both young adults and health care providers – including a “Provider Assessment of Patient Skill Set,” “Self-Assessment of Worries, Concerns, or Burdens,” and “Patient Fact Sheets” covering topics such as alcohol, sex and pregnancy, and college life with diabetes.

At ADA this June, Drs. Laffel and Peters spoke on the issue of transitioning to adult care (they had previously co-written a position statement on diabetes care for emerging adults with the ADA). According to Dr. Laffel, “Diabetes is not a do-it-yourself condition at any age.” Whether it’s a loved one, a healthcare provider, or friends and family, she emphasized the importance of keeping a supportive community around you. Some centers have seen success with full-time “transition coordinators” that can assess when a young adult is ready to transition, help schedule and reschedule missed appointments, locate an appropriate adult care provider, and provide a constant source of support throughout this transition. 

Drs. Laffel and Peters also highlighted the need for young people to manage their diabetes independently – this means down to the last detail, including making their own appointments, attending hospital visits alone, ordering and picking up their own diabetes supplies, sending in requested data uploads from meters/CGM/pumps, and more. Knowing how to do these practical tasks can be key to a successful transition, a topic the toolkit also emphasizes. -AJW/NL