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Figure 1

Timeline of events of peer support program for adolescents with diabetes



To describe the development and challenges of a pharmacist-directed peer support program among adolescents with diabetes.

Practice Description

The program was designed as adjunctive therapy for adolescents receiving care at the Diabetes Education and Research Center (DERC). DERC is an interdisciplinary facility at which the clinical pharmacist provides direct, diabetes-related patient care services. Through collaboration with DERC, pharmacists developed and facilitated each component of the program.

Practice Innovation

The U.S. Diabetes Conversation Map program was used for the educational component of the program. This is an innovative, American Diabetes Association–approved tool for providing group education on diabetes self-management. As trained facilitators of the conversation maps, the investigators educated group leaders on how to be facilitators for their peers.

Main Outcome Measures

Glycosylated hemoglobin (A1C), diabetes self-management skills, and diabetes-related quality of life were measured at baseline and following program completion. Qualitative outcomes were measured via validated questionnaires in adolescents with type 1 diabetes. The investigators facilitated the gathering of all quantitative and qualitative data.


Several participants did not meet all inclusion criteria; therefore, data from only six participants were assessed. A1C increased among participants, affirming the challenge of metabolic control during adolescence. Despite this, qualitative analysis of questionnaires revealed improvements in adherence to lifestyle modifications and health perception after program completion.

David Adagio Black Women's Tate Sandal Conclusion

Evidence illustrates beneficial effects of peer-facilitated support on the physical and psychological challenges of diabetes self-management; however, challenges existed when implementing this program among adolescents. Suggestions to overcome these challenges include same-sex support groups, use of an appealing setting for participants, incorporation into camps or after-school programs, and extended program length. Pharmacists are well equipped to assist individuals in comprehensive diabetes management programs such as the one described here because of their education and training in medication management, therapeutic lifestyle changes, and patient communication.

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Women's David Sandal Black Adagio Tate Disclosure: The authors declare no conflicts of interest or financial interests in any product or service mentioned in this article,including grants, employment, gifts, stock holdings, or honoraria.

Acknowledgments: To all participants for their time and feedback and to Dr. Mary Vaccarello-Cruz of the Diabetes Education and Research Center for assistance in obtaining study participants and financial contribution.

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