The benefits and challenges of continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) for children with type 1 diabetes have been reviewed by parents in a new analysis.

US scientists from the Jaeb Center for Health Research in Tampa, Florida, reviewed data from the T1D Exchange to assess the impact of CGM devices.

The study involved 55 parents of children aged between 1-7 years who had been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes for at least six months and had an HbA1c level of below 91.3 mmol/mol (10.5%).

All of the parents were quizzed over their experiences with blood glucose meters, insulin pumps and CGM devices, with the responses enabling qualitative analysis.

A total of 85% of those involved in the study were current CGM users, while the remaining 15% had previous experience of using the technology.

The analysis revealed a number of benefits of CGM use, such as helping young children with type 1 diabetes to sleep better and make informed decisions about managing the condition. Other benefits included decreased worry, increased confidence about the child’s safety and more times spent in target blood glucose range.

The most commonly reported challenges were painful sensor insertions, difficulty in placing multiple devices on small bodies, disruptive alerts, skin irritation and problems interpreting all the data.

Lead author Kellee Miller said: “Attention to individual differences in parents and to temperamental differences in young children can inform clinical strategies to support families in making diabetes management decisions, and pave the way to future success of various diabetes management devices, including CGM and automated insulin delivery systems.”

The study did not record specific information on the CGM models used. The researchers added: “It is possible that those reporting technical problems may have given up using CGM based on negative experiences with early generation devices.

“Indeed, given marked improvements in performance, insertion ease, and duration of sensor wear, it may be important to ensure families of young children receive up-to-date education about current diabetes devices.”

The study was published by the journal Diabetes Technology &Therapeutics.

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