Type 1 diabetes is one of the most severe health conditions that are observed in children and adolescents. In order to achieve the long-term glycemic control and improve the quality of the young patients’ life, health care professionals choose to focus on using such an intervention as the insulin pump therapy for children. In their recent research that was published in 2013, Johnson, Cooper, Jones, and Davis aimed to determine the role of the insulin pump therapy for the glycemic control and changes in the rate of hypoglycemia in children and to conclude on long-term outcomes of the therapy (Johnson, Cooper, Jones, & Davis, 2013, p. 2392). Johnson and the group of researchers found that the insulin pump therapy improved the glycemic control in children and the rate of hypoglycemia decreased significantly; thus, the purpose of this paper is to discuss the authors’ findings in the context of the existing research and its importance for the nursing practice.
The purpose of the researchers was to conduct the largest study of the insulin pump therapy in nursing and pediatrics because of the lack of the proper evidence in the field. Thus, the study under discussion lasted 7 years. Johnson and the group of researchers conducted a case-control study in which young patients following the insulin pump therapy in Princess Margaret Hospital, Australia, were compared with the patients following the injection therapy in that tertiary hospital. The participants were matched on the age, duration of diabetes, and the HbA1c level. The levels of HbA1c and the hypoglycemia rates were measured regularly during the years of the study (Johnson et al., 2013, p. 2395). The received data were analyzed with the help of the paired t test of the difference.
It was found during the research that the insulin pump therapy impacted the glycemic control and the rate of hypoglycemia more obviously than the injection therapy that was traditionally followed in hospitals (Johnson et al., 2013, p. 2396). The length of the study allowed the researchers to conclude that the improvements in the glycemic control associated with the insulin pump therapy can last during 7 years, and these results are most promising in the field of diabetes interventions. If previous studies only indicated the role of the insulin pump therapy for changes in HbA1c, without discussing the associated aspects and further effects on the children’ health, the discussed research provided the clear evidence to state the significant positive role of the therapy for preventing hypoglycemia as a result of the improvement in HbA1c levels (Johnson et al., 2013, p. 2397; Nelson, Genthe, Gall, & Edwards, 2009, p. 235).
While comparing the findings of Johnson and the group of researchers’ study with the previous researches and surveys in the field, it is necessary to state that the study by Johnson, Cooper, Jones, and Davis added significantly to the discussion of the insulin pump therapy in the Western countries because it provided the most representative results that were received with the focus on the large sample population and duration of the study. Many studies reported the role of the insulin pump therapy for the improvement in HbA1c, including the study by Shulman, Palmert, and Daneman conducted in 2012. However, the researchers focused on the small sample of population and on examining the effects of the insulin pump therapy only during the first 12 months of the intervention (Shulman, Palmert, & Daneman, 2012, p. 120). Therefore, there was no evidence to state the role of the insulin pump therapy for the long-term improvement of the children’s physical state associated with type 1 diabetes.
The importance of Johnson and the group of researchers’ study to the nursing practice is in the fact that it confirmed the necessity to use the insulin pump therapy for children because this intervention demonstrates significant improvements in the glycemic control to prevent the development of the severe conditions during a long period of time. The current study provides the evidence to support the idea that the insulin pump therapy serves to decrease risks associated with the progress of hypoglycemia. Furthermore, the researchers stated that the effectiveness of implementing such a new technology or intervention as the insulin pump therapy depends on the efforts of nurses and health care professionals in educating parents on the benefits of using the discussed therapy for treating type 1 diabetes (Johnson et al., 2013, p. 2398; Shulman et al., 2012, p. 121). In this case, the current study is important to attract the nurses’ attention to the aspects of using the insulin pump therapy in treatment of children with type 1 diabetes.
The evidence-based article by Johnson, Cooper, Jones, and Davis in the field of diabetes treatment in children provides the support for the use of the insulin pump therapy and examines the outcomes of the therapy for the further children’s life. Thus, the article provides the results of one of the most complete researches in the area, and it contributes to the further discussion of the problem with references to the nursing practice.
Johnson, S., Cooper, M., Jones, T., & Davis, E. (2013). Long-term outcome of insulin pump therapy in children with type 1 diabetes assessed in a large population-based case-control study. Diabetologia, 56(11), 2392-2400.
Nelson, A., Genthe, J., Gall, K., & Edwards, E. (2009). Patterns of youths’ glycemic control with insulin pump therapy. Pediatric Nursing, 35(4), 234-239.
Shulman, R., Palmert, M., & Daneman, D. (2012). Insulin pump therapy in youths with Type 1 diabetes: Uptake and outcomes in the ‘real world’. Diabetes Management, 2(2), 119-138.