Type 1 diabetes in adolescents is a significant medical condition associated with high economic costs and increased mortality, and its incidence is increasing. Unfortunately, adolescents show poorer adherence to self monitoring of blood glucose (SMBG) recommendations and poorer metabolic control than adults. Although some individual and family-based interventions have shown promise in improving metabolic control, there is a critical need to develop more effective interventions. The overall goal of this DP3 project is to develop a new innovative intervention that targets decision making to help teens with poor diabetic metabolic control increase the frequency of SMBG and improve HbA1c. The target population will be teens aged 13-17 with type 1 diabetes and HbA1c >8%. Based on our prior work and a conceptual model, the proposed study will develop and pilot test a novel, multifaceted, developmentally appropriate intervention aimed at improving adolescent decision making. An integrated set of components target adolescents' need for frequent positive feedback, improved future orientation, and motivational support. While past research indicates that behavioral interventions are frequently more successful when they include multiple elements, no previous intervention has combined multiple empirically-based components that target key decision making levers in one intervention. This new intervention, called MAxIM (MotivAtion, Incentives, Memory) uses: 1) motivation enhancement therapy (MET) (an existing evidence-based treatment for adolescent with diabetes) supplemented with cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) to enhance behavior change; 2) financial incentives for daily blood glucose testing and parental monitoring to provide frequent positive feedback; and 3) working memory training (WMT), an efficacious method for strengthening specific cognitive processes that support decision-making and future orientation. The interventions will be delivered to families at home via the internet to increase the reach of the intervention to families living distant from ther treating endocrinologist. MAxIM will be teen and parent friendly and designed to increase engagement and compliance with the intervention. Primary hypotheses are that MAxIM will: (1) help teens improve and maintain glucose control, and (2) improve decision making (improve executive function and reduce delay discounting), which will predict treatment outcome. The unique set of interventions holds promise for improving adherence by affecting multiple basic mechanisms that determine poor decision making. The project will develop a novel, highly transportable, home based intervention designed to maximize and sustain HbA1c reductions and SMBG frequency over time in adolescents. Innovations include the targeting of multiple levers specific to adolescent decision making, use of technology to deliver the intervention to families at home, and testing cognitive predictors of treatment outcome for teens with diabetes. Successful achievement of this study's aims will bring the field closer to a cost effective, long-lasting intervention to improve outcomes among these high-risk youth.

Public Health Relevance

The overall goal of this project is to develop a novel family friendly intervention that will help teens with poor metabolic control of their type 1 diabetes increase and sustain daily self monitoring of blood glucose and lower HbA1c. This is important because poor metabolic control has long-term health implications. This project will provide important information regarding new effective ways to improve outcomes among teens with poorly controlled type 1 diabetes.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD)
Type 1 Diabetes Targeted Research Award (DP3)
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Haverkos, Lynne
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Dartmouth College
Schools of Medicine
United States
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Stanger, Catherine; Lansing, Amy Hughes; Scherer, Emily et al. (2018) A Web-Delivered Multicomponent Intervention for Adolescents with Poorly Controlled Type 1 Diabetes: A Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial. Ann Behav Med 52:1010-1022
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