Psycho-social problems faced by "frequent flyers" in a pediatric diabetes unit

Nilsson, David (2002) Psycho-social problems faced by "frequent flyers" in a pediatric diabetes unit. Social Work in Health Care, 33(3-4), pp. 53-69. ISSN (print) 0098-1389


This article describes an exploratory study of psychosocial factors common to, and associated with, frequently readmitted pediatric patients diagnosed with Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus (IDDM). This practice-based study was undertaken by a social worker providing clinical services within a tertiary health-care pediatric diabetes unit at the Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne (RCH), Australia and utilises available data obtained through retrospective record review in order to better inform service delivery. The study identified thirteen psychosocial factors having multiple occurrences within a small, but resource intensive, sub-population of the diabetes unit. The author discusses the possible contribution of each of these factors to poor metabolic control and frequent readmission to hospital, as well as the potential implications for future targeted prevention and treatment programs.

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