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Caring for a child with type 1 diabetes during COVID-19 lockdown in a developing country: Challenges and parents' perspectives on the use of telemedicine

Background and Aim: Jordan implemented abrupt and extreme lockdown measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. This study aims to evaluate the effect of these measures on paediatric patients with type 1 diabetes in terms of acute metabolic complications and shortages in insulin and glucose measuring supplies. It also evaluates the caregivers' perceptions of the use of telemedicine during the lockdown.<bold>Methods: </bold>This is a questionnaire-based cross-sectional study. It was completed using Google forms and patients/caregivers were asked to consent if they agreed to answer.

Results: 235 patients/families participated in the study. The mean age of the patients was 10.8 years ± 3.9 years (N = 229). Twenty-four children (10.2%) needed to visit the emergency department during the lockdown period which lasted for 10 weeks. Of these, eight (3.4%) were hospitalized due to acute metabolic complications. Families (58.3%) faced insulin shortages and 14% had to ration insulin, i.e., decrease the dose, during the lockdown. Glucose monitoring strips were rationed by 43.4% of families leading to more frequent low/high glucose readings in 75.5% of children of these families. Telemedicine using phones and social media applications was utilized for communication with healthcare professionals and continuing medical care. Most of the participants (85.5%) described it as a smooth and positive experience.

Conclusions: The extreme lockdown due to COVID-19 pandemic caused insulin and glucose measuring equipment shortages in children with diabetes in Jordan. However, the use of telemedicine for providing guidance and support was perceived positively by the families.

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Key Information

Type of Reference
Jour
Type of Work
Journal article
Publisher
National Library of Medicine
Publication Year
2020
Journal Titles
Diabetes Research & Clinical Practice
Volume Number
168
Language
English