Diabet Med. 2020 Sep 24:e14410. doi: 10.1111/dme.14410. Online ahead of print.
AIM: To explore parents’ expectations of the perceived barriers to and benefits of 1 year of monthly video consultations combined with regular outpatient care of children with type 1 diabetes.
METHODS: The Virtual Diabetes Outpatient Clinic for Children and Youth (VIDIKI) study was a controlled, multicentre, perennial study with 240 participants from northern Germany. Fifty-four qualitative interviews with parents were analysed using qualitative content analysis. Before the intervention, 30 interviews were conducted to assess parents’ expectations, and after 1 year, 24 interviews evaluated the experienced benefits and barriers to video consultations.
RESULTS: Four main topics were identified from parents’ responses to the video consultation. The main advantages of the video consultation compared with standard care were a higher frequency of contact for optimized insulin dosing and saving time; difficulties with internet connections were identified as the main barrier. A feeling of increased confidence with respect to insulin dosing was directly associated with telemedicine. Digital prescriptions and meeting the same diabetologist in both outpatient and telemedical care were mentioned as important improvements. The majority of interviewees preferred intervals of 4-6 weeks between video consultations.
CONCLUSION: The higher frequency of contact with the diabetes team was considered a great relief by parents of children with type 1 diabetes. Apart from the time savings and flexibility in appointments, the most important advantages were the higher frequency of contact leading to short-term therapy adjustments and an increase in the ability to adjust therapy independently.