I love the Geico commercial with the Caveman-- the one where he's in the therapist's office and his phone rings . He says, "My mother's calling. I'll put it on speaker." According to a recent study published in the medical journal Diabete s Care, researchers have found that family communication and problem-solving skills are important for helping young people with type 1 diabetes to manage the condition. Specially tailored family therapy can help teens with type 1 diabetes keep their blood sugar levels under control.
A family-based behavioral therapy program was specifically tailored to address diabetes-related family issues. The program consisted of 12 sessions offered over six months, and included training in "behavioral contracting" techniques for family members and a 1-week parental simulation of living with type 1 diabetes. For their study, the researchers randomly assigned 104 families of teens with poorly controlled type 1 diabetes to the behavioral family therapy program, standard care, or a multifamily support group that included educational elements. While levels of A1C, a measurement of long-term blood glucose control, fell in all three groups over the first six months, A1C levels climbed again in the standard-care and support-group kids, but remained low for the behavioral family therapy group up to 18 months after the program began.
Researchers concluded that the efficacy of a family-based behavioral therapy approach is more effective in improving diabetes control. There is power in numbers especially when it comes to any family affair. See mom and dad - told you so!