Lifestyle Redesign for Chronic Conditions (LRCC)
Director: Beth Pyatak PhD, OTR/L, CDCES, FAOTA
The Lifestyle Redesign® for Chronic Conditions (LRCC) Lab, led by Dr. Beth Pyatak, explores the impact of chronic conditions such as diabetes and arthritis on health and well-being. Our research particularly focuses on addressing the needs of populations that are medically underserved or at an elevated risk for poor health and quality of life.
Research conducted in our lab focuses on:
- Identifying unmet needs among individuals with chronic conditions which are potentially amenable to occupational therapy intervention;
- Developing and evaluating intervention approaches to address these needs;
- Identifying strategies to widely disseminate these interventions to positively impact population health and well-being;
- Using a variety of qualitative, quantitative, mixed methods, and translational research methodologies to explore these questions.
Beyond CoYoT1: Expansion of Patient-Centered Virtual Care >
The purpose of this study is to develop and disseminate a toolkit for an evidence-based patient-centered telehealth and shared medical appointment care model for young adults with type 1 diabetes. Previously implemented among a low-SES, racially and ethnically diverse population receiving care at a…
Period: Oct 2021 – Sep 2024
Private Funding $264,000
Evaluation of a Complex Behavioral Intervention for Young Adults with Diabetes: The Resilient, Empowered, Active Living-Telehealth (REAL-T) Study >
Young adulthood is a challenging life stage for many with T1D; only 17% of 18-25 year olds and 30% of 26-30 year olds attain recommended HbA1c targets, and only 2% consistently perform diabetes self-care in accordance with national guidelines. To address these issues, our research team developed the…
Period: Feb 2019 – Dec 2023
Federal Funding $3,550,408 (anticipated)
Function and Emotion in Everyday Life with Type 1 Diabetes (FEEL-T1D) >
It is generally understood that fluctuations in blood glucose are both distressing and intrusive for people with type 1 diabetes, yet diabetes research to date has primarily relied on global, retrospective measures that cannot capture the relationships between acute blood glucose fluctuations,…
Period: Apr 2019 – Mar 2023
Federal Funding $3,157,103 (anticipated)
CoYoT1 to California (CTC) — Telemedicine to Engage Young Adults with Diabetes >
The purpose of this study is to adapt and pilot-test a successful telemedicine and shared medical appointment clinical care model for young adults with type 1 diabetes. Previously implemented among a privately-insured population at a diabetes specialty center, we will adapt the care model to meet…
Period: Jan 2018 – Dec 2021
Private Funding $108,784
Addressing Uncontrolled Diabetes in Primary Care: A Lifestyle Redesign Approach >
This study is examining the feasibility of implementing an occupational therapy intervention addressing diabetes management in a primary care clinic within the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services (LAC-DHS), as well as the impact of this intervention approach on clinical outcomes,…
Period: Jul 2017 – Dec 2018
Intramural Funding $74,375
Diabetes Self-Management Lifestyle Intervention for Urban Minority Young Adults >
This three-year mentored career development award pilot-tested an innovative individually tailored, community-based intervention, Resilient, Empowered, Active Living with Diabetes (REAL), targeting underserved minority young adults with poorly-controlled diabetes. Study outcomes included glycemic…
Period: Jul 2014 – Apr 2018
Federal Funding $456,312
Beating the Odds: Facilitating Lifestyle Change in Urban Latino Young Adults with Diabetes >
Health outcomes are poor among young adults with type 1 diabetes (T1DM) and type 2 diabetes (T2DM). Urban, low-SES Latino young adults with diabetes may be at particularly high risk. Community-based lifestyle interventions have been effective in reducing health declines and improving quality of life…
Period: Jul 2011 – Jun 2014
Federal Funding $146,279
Helmsley Type 1 Diabetes Transition “Let’s Empower and Prepare” (LEAP) Program >
Adolescence is a period of many physical, social, and psychological changes, and maintaining control of type 1 diabetes (T1D) and understanding the healthcare system is often not a priority. Diabetes-related health outcomes worsen during adolescence, with poor adherence to insulin therapy and blood…
Period: Feb 2011 – Dec 2013
Private Funding $1,119,060
Improving Adherence in Type 1 Diabetes by Peer Mentoring: A Feasibility Study >
Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is the second most common serious childhood disease in the US, with the rate of incidence accelerating in the most recent decade. Studies show that effective glycemic control decreases the risk of T1D-related secondary complications, highlighting the importance of glycemic…
Period: Oct 2011 – Oct 2013
Private Funding $7,169
Raymond, J. K., Reid, M. W., Fox, S., Garcia, J. F., Miller, D., Bisno, D., Fogel, J. L., Krishnan, S., & Pyatak, E. A. (2020). Adapting home telehealth group appointment model (CoYoT1 clinic) for a low SES, publicly insured, minority young adult population with type 1 diabetes. Contemporary Clinical Trials, 88, 105896. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cct.2019.105896 Show abstract
As more individuals from diverse backgrounds are diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes (T1D), the need to address resulting disparities in diabetes outcomes among these populations also escalates. Although young adulthood proves challenging for all patients with diabetes, young adults (YA) from racial/ethnic minorities and low socioeconomic backgrounds face even greater T1D management obstacles. The poorer outcomes in these populations drive an urgent need for alternative care models to improve YA's engagement in their T1D clinical care and address barriers to improved health outcomes. Previous telemedicine initiatives for T1D have yielded positive diabetes care results, especially in YA, offering one promising way to reach this high-risk population. To serve these patients better, an established and successful home telehealth group appointment model, “CoYoT1 Clinic” (Colorado Young Adults with T1D), was adapted to provide care to YA with T1D at a large urban children's hospital in Southern California. At this location, ~70% of patients have public/no insurance, and 85% are racial/ethnic minorities. In this paper, we report the process of adapting the CoYoT1 Clinic model and designing a randomized controlled trial (RCT) to evaluate its efficacy. The adapted model uses meticulous study-design methods that incorporate patient advisors, quantitative and qualitative data collection, collaboration with local stakeholders, intervention development, and patient randomization into a factorial design analyzing telemedicine versus in-person and patient-centered versus standard care. The new model addresses the needs of high-risk YA in Southern California, with the goal of increasing access to care, improving follow-up frequency, and strengthening patient and provider satisfaction.
Keywords. Young adults; Telehealth; Group appointments; Type 1 diabetes; Shared medical appointments; Telemedicine
Bakhach, M., Reid, M. W., Pyatak, E. A., Berget, C., Cain, C., Thomas, J., Klingensmith, G. J., & Raymond, J. K. (2019). Home telemedicine (CoYoT1 clinic): A novel approach to improve psychosocial outcomes in young adults with diabetes. The Diabetes Educator, 45(4), 420-430. https://doi.org/10.1177/0145721719858080 Show abstract
Purpose. To assess the impact of a home telemedicine clinic model (CoYoT1 Clinic) on psychosocial and behavioral outcomes designed for young adults (YAs) with type 1 diabetes (T1D).
Methods. YAs self-selected to participate in the CoYoT1 Clinic or serve as a usual care control. CoYoT1 Clinic visits consisted of an individual appointment with a provider and a group appointment with other YAs with T1D using home telemedicine. Psychosocial and behavioral functioning was assessed by 4 measures: Diabetes Distress Scale, Self-Efficacy for Diabetes Scale, Self-Management of Type 1 Diabetes in Adolescence Scale, and Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale.
Results. Forty-two patients participated in the CoYoT1 Clinic and 39 patients served as controls. CoYoT1 participants reported lower levels of distress (P = .03), increased diabetes self-efficacy (P = .01), and improved ability to communicate with others about diabetes (P = .04) over the study period compared to controls. YA males in the control group reported increases in depressive symptoms (P = .03) during the study period, but CoYoT1 participants showed no changes.
Conclusion. Group home telemedicine for YAs with T1D positively affects diabetes distress, self-efficacy, and diabetes-specific communication. These positive findings have the potential to also affect the YAs’ long-term diabetes outcomes. Further investigation of the model is needed.
Pyatak, E. A., Carandang, K., Vigen, C. L., Blanchard, J., Díaz, J., Concha-Chavez, A., Sequeira, P. A., Wood, J. R., Whittemore, R., Spruijt-Metz, D., & Peters, A. L. (2018). Occupational therapy intervention improves glycemic control and quality of life among young adults with diabetes: The Resilient, Empowered, Active Living with Diabetes (REAL Diabetes) randomized controlled trial. Diabetes Care, 41(4), 696-704. https://doi.org/10.2337/dc17-1634 Show abstract
Objective. To assess the efficacy of a manualized occupational therapy (OT) intervention (Resilient, Empowered, Active Living with Diabetes [REAL Diabetes]) to improve glycemic control and psychosocial well-being among ethnically diverse young adults with low socioeconomic status (SES) who have type 1 or type 2 diabetes.
Research Design and Methods. Eighty-one young adults (age 22.6 ± 3.5 years; hemoglobin A1c [HbA1c] = 10.8%/95 mmol/mol ± 1.9%/20.8 mmol/mol) were randomly assigned to the REAL Diabetes intervention group (IG) or an attention control group (CG) over 6 months. IG participants received biweekly sessions guided by a manual composed of seven content modules; CG participants received standardized educational materials and biweekly phone calls. Blinded assessors collected data at baseline and 6 months. The primary outcome was HbA1c; secondary outcomes included diabetes self-care, diabetes-related quality of life (QOL), diabetes distress, depressive symptoms, and life satisfaction. Change scores were analyzed using Wilcoxon rank sum tests.
Results. Intent-to-treat analyses showed that IG participants showed significant improvement in HbA1c (-0.57%/6.2 mmol/mol vs. +0.36%/3.9 mmol/mol, P = 0.01), diabetes-related QOL (+0.7 vs. +0.15, P = 0.04), and habit strength for checking blood glucose (+3.9 vs. +1.7, P = 0.05) as compared with CG participants. There was no statistically significant effect modification by sex, ethnicity, diabetes type, recruitment site, or SES. No study-related serious adverse events were reported.
Conclusions. The REAL Diabetes intervention improved blood glucose control and diabetes-related QOL among a typically hard-to-reach population, thus providing evidence that a structured OT intervention may be beneficial in improving both clinical and psychosocial outcomes among individuals with diabetes.
Weigensberg, M. J., Vigen, C., Sequeira, P., Spruijt-Metz, D., Juarez, M., Florindez, D., Provisor, J., Peters, A., & Pyatak, E. A. (2018). Diabetes Empowerment Council: Integrative Pilot Intervention for Transitioning Young Adults With Type 1 Diabetes. Global Advances in Health and Medicine, 7, 2164956118761808. https://doi.org/10.1177/2164956118761808 Show abstract
Background. The transition of young adults with type 1 diabetes (T1D) from pediatric to adult care is challenging and frequently accompanied by worsening of diabetes-related health. To date, there are no reports which prospectively assess the effects of theory-based psycho-behavioral interventions during the transition period neither on glycemic control nor on psychosocial factors that contribute to poor glycemic control. Therefore, the overall aim of this study was to develop and pilot test an integrative group intervention based on the underlying principles of self-determination theory (SDT), in young adults with T1D.
Methods. Fifty-one young adults with T1D participated in an education and case management-based transition program, of which 9 took part in the Diabetes Empowerment Council (DEC), a 12-week holistic, multimodality facilitated group intervention consisting of “council” process based on indigenous community practices, stress-reduction guided imagery, narrative medicine modalities, simple ritual, and other integrative modalities. Feasibility, acceptability, potential mechanism of effects, and bio-behavioral outcomes were determined using mixed qualitative and quantitative methods.
Results. The intervention was highly acceptable to participants, though presented significant feasibility challenges. Participants in DEC showed significant reductions in perceived stress and depression, and increases in general well-being relative to other control participants. Reduction in perceived stress, independent of intervention group, was associated with reductions in hemoglobin A1C. A theoretical model explaining the effects of the intervention included the promotion of relatedness and autonomy support, 2 important aspects of SDT.
Conclusions. The DEC is a promising group intervention for young adults with T1D going through transition to adult care. Future investigations will be necessary to resolve feasibility issues, optimize the multimodality intervention, determine full intervention effects, and fully test the role of the underlying theoretical model of action.
Carandang, K. M., & Pyatak, E. A. (2018). Feasibility of a manualized occupation-based diabetes management intervention. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 72(2), 7202345040p1–7202345040p6. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2018.021790 Show abstract
Objective. We investigated the feasibility and acceptability of an occupational therapy intervention targeting diabetes management for underserved young adults.
Method. Eight participants completed the intervention and a battery of assessments at baseline and after the intervention. At completion, the participants and occupational therapist were interviewed about their experiences with the study. Four categories of assessment questions were used to guide the study: process, resource, management, and scientific.
Results. Successes included recruitment; fulfillment of tasks by staff and partnering clinics; adequate space, financial support, and equipment; and meaningfulness of the intervention for participants. Challenges included scheduling participants for the intervention and follow-up focus groups and providing client centeredness and flexibility while reducing burden on the intervener.
Conclusion. This feasibility study allowed us to make necessary revisions to our study protocol before implementing a larger pilot study.
Carandang, K., & Pyatak, E. A. (2018). Analyzing occupational challenges through the lens of body and biography. Journal of Occupational Science, 25(2), 161-173. https://doi.org/10.1080/14427591.2018.1446353 Show abstract
Introduction. Occupational scientists are tasked with the responsibility of examining the relationship between occupational engagement and health, yet as occupations are explored in situ, these concepts only become more complex. For example, lifestyle trade-offs occur when individuals make conscious decisions between two competing sets of actions: actions taken in promotion of physical health versus actions in agreement with an identity-driven biography. In this study, these dilemmas are viewed as parts of an ongoing occupational challenge to balance physical health with subjective well-being in everyday life.
Methods. Anselm Strauss’s concepts of body state and biographical moment are conceptualized as analytic tools to study dimensions within which occupation is performed. A descriptive, single-case analysis of a young adult diagnosed with diabetes is presented as an exemplar of how Strauss’s tools may be utilized.
Results. Four themes emerged within the presented narrative: (1) by the book versus reality, (2) testing the boundaries of diabetes, (3) diabetes burnout and the struggle for perfection, and (4) the inevitable merge between body and biography.
Conclusion. Sadie’s narrative exemplifies the multiple contexts in which agentic decisions to engage in specific occupations are made. Sadie’s experiences of diabetes burnout and actions taken while “on vacation” are not uncommon within chronic illness literature and warrant further analyses that consider physical and psychological domains of health. By dismantling situational factors using analytic tools, such as Strauss’s body state and biographical moment, occupational scientists may further understand lived experiences and clarify the link between occupation and health.
Vigen, C. L., Carandang, K., Blanchard, J., Sequeira, P. A., Wood, J. R., Spruijt-Metz, D., Whittemore, R., Peters, A. L., & Pyatak, E. A. (2018). Psychosocial and behavioral correlates of A1C and quality of life among young adults with diabetes. The Diabetes Educator, 44(6), 489–500. https://doi.org/10.1177/0145721718804170 Show abstract
Purpose. The purpose of this study was to evaluate relationships between behavioral and psychosocial constructs, A1C, and diabetes-dependent quality of life (DQoL) among low-socioeconomic status, ethnically diverse young adults with diabetes.
Methods. Using baseline data of 81 participants in the Resilient, Empowered, Active Living (REAL) randomized controlled trial, behavioral, cognitive, affective, and experiential variables were correlated with A1C and DQoL while adjusting for demographic characteristics, and these relationships were examined for potential effect modification.
Results. The data indicate that depressive symptoms and satisfaction with daily activities are associated with both A1C and DQoL, while diabetes knowledge and participation in daily activities are associated with neither A1C nor DQoL. Two constructs, diabetes distress and life satisfaction, were associated with DQoL and were unrelated to A1C, while 2 constructs, self-monitoring of blood glucose and medication adherence, were associated with A1C but unrelated to DQoL. These relationships were largely unchanged by adjusting for demographic characteristics, while numerous effect modifications were found.
Conclusion. The data suggest that when tailoring interventions, depressive symptoms and satisfaction with daily activities may be particularly fruitful intervention targets, as they represent modifiable risk factors that are associated with both A1C and DQoL.
Pyatak, E. A., Sequeira, P. A., Vigen, C. L., Weigensberg, M. J., Wood, J. R., Montoya, L., Ruelas, V., & Peters, A. L. (2017). Clinical and psychosocial outcomes of a structured transition program among young adults with type 1 diabetes. Journal of Adolescent Health, 60(2), 212-218. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jadohealth.2016.09.004 Show abstract
Purpose. We identified and treated young adults with type 1 diabetes who had been lost to follow-up during their transfer from pediatric to adult care, comparing their clinical, psychosocial, and health care utilization outcomes to participants receiving continuous care (CC) throughout the transition to adult care.
Methods. Individuals in their last year of pediatric care (CC group, n = 51) and individuals lost to follow-up in the transfer to adult care ("lapsed care" [LC] group, n = 24) were followed prospectively for 12 months. All participants were provided developmentally tailored diabetes education, case management, and clinical care through a structured transition program.
Results. At baseline, LC participants reported lapses in care of 11.6 months. Compared with CC participants, they had higher hemoglobin A1C (A1C; p = .005), depressive symptoms (p = .05), incidence of severe hypoglycemia (p = .005), and emergency department visits (p = .004). At 12-month follow-up, CC and LC participants did not differ on the number of diabetes care visits (p = .23), severe hypoglycemia (no events), or emergency department visits (p = .22). Both groups' A1C improved during the study period (CC: p = .03; LC: p = .02). LC participants' depressive symptoms remained elevated (p = .10), and they reported a decline in life satisfaction (p = .007). There was greater loss to follow-up in the LC group (p = .04).
Conclusions. Our study suggests that, for young adults with a history of lapses in care, a structured transition program is effective in lowering A1C, reducing severe hypoglycemia and emergency department utilization, and improving uptake of routine diabetes care. Loss to follow-up and psychosocial concerns remain significant challenges in this population.
Pyatak, E. A., Carandang, K., Vigen, C., Blanchard, J., Sequeira, P. A., Wood, J. R., Spruijt-Metz, D., Whittemore, R., & Peters, A. L. (2017). Resilient, Empowered, Active Living with Diabetes (REAL Diabetes) study: Methodology and baseline characteristics of a randomized controlled trial evaluating an occupation-based diabetes management intervention for young adults. Contemporary Clinical Trials, 54, 8-17. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cct.2016.12.025 Show abstract
Overview. This paper describes the study protocol used to evaluate the Resilient, Empowered, Active Living with Diabetes (REAL Diabetes) intervention and reports on baseline characteristics of recruited participants. REAL Diabetes is an activity-based intervention designed to address the needs of young adults diagnosed with type 1 (T1D) or type 2 diabetes (T2D) from low socioeconomic status or racial/ethnic minority backgrounds. The REAL intervention incorporates tailored delivery of seven content modules addressing various dimensions of health and well-being as they relate to diabetes, delivered by a licensed occupational therapist.
Methods. In this pilot randomized controlled trial, participants are assigned to the REAL Diabetes intervention or an attention control condition. The study's primary recruitment strategies included in-person recruitment at diabetes clinics, mass mailings to clinic patients, and social media advertising. Data collection includes baseline and 6-month assessments of primary outcomes, secondary outcomes, and hypothesized mediators of intervention effects, as well as ongoing process evaluation assessment to ensure study protocol adherence and intervention fidelity.
Results. At baseline, participants (n=81) were 51% female, 78% Latino, and on average 22.6years old with an average HbA1c of 10.8%. A majority of participants (61.7%) demonstrated clinically significant diabetes distress and 27.2% reported symptoms consistent with major depressive disorder. Compared to participants with T1D, participants with T2D had lower diabetes-related self-efficacy and problem-solving skills. Compared to participants recruited at clinics, participants recruited through other strategies had greater diabetes knowledge but weaker medication adherence.
Discussion. Participants in the REAL study demonstrate clinically significant medical and psychosocial needs.
Carandang, K., Pyatak, E. A., & Vigen, C. P. (2016). Systematic review of educational interventions for rheumatoid arthritis. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 70(6), 7006290020p1-7006290020p12. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2016.021386 Show abstract
Objective. In this study, we systematically reviewed the effectiveness of educational interventions falling within the scope of occupational therapy practice for people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). These interventions included disease education, joint protection and energy conservation, psychosocial techniques, pain management, and a combination category.
Method. Two databases, MEDLINE and CINAHL, and select journals were searched for randomized controlled trials published between January 2002 and June 2015. Qualitative synthesis was used for between-study comparisons.
Results. Twenty-two studies, with approximately 2,600 participants, were included. The interventions were found to have strong evidence for constructs that dealt with increasing coping with pain and fatigue as well as maintaining positive affect. There was limited or no evidence supporting the effectiveness of these interventions on most other measured constructs.
Conclusion. Interventions in which a combination of educational techniques is used may complement pharmacological therapies in the care of people with RA. Future research is needed to identify specific mechanisms of change.
Sequeira, P. A., Pyatak, E. A., Weigensberg, M. J., Vigen, C. P., Wood, J. R., Ruelas, V., Montoya, L., Cohen, M., Speer, H., Clark, S., & Peters, A. L. (2015). Let's Empower and Prepare (LEAP): Evaluation of a structured transition program for young adults with type 1 diabetes. Diabetes Care, 38(8), 1412-1419. https://doi.org/10.2337/dc14-2577 Show abstract
Objective. To evaluate the efficacy of a structured transition program compared with usual care in improving routine follow-up, clinical, and psychosocial outcomes among young adults with type 1 diabetes.
Research Design and Methods. Eighty-one young adults in their last year of pediatric care were recruited from three clinics. Intervention group (IG) participants (n = 51) received a structured transition program incorporating tailored diabetes education, case management, group education classes, and access to a newly developed young adult diabetes clinic and transition website. Control group (CG) participants (n = 30) received usual care. The primary outcome was the number of routine clinic visits. Secondary outcomes included glycemic control, hypoglycemia, health-care use, and psychosocial well-being. Assessments were conducted at baseline, and 6 and 12 months.
Results. Limitations in CG follow-up prevented direct comparisons of adult care visits; however, at the 12-month follow-up among IG participants discharged from pediatric care (n = 32), 78% had one or more adult visits. Among IG participants, the total number of clinic visits did not differ between those who transitioned and those who remained in pediatric care (3.0 ± 1.24 vs. 3.11 ± 0.94, P = 0.74). IG compared with CG participants had improved glycemic control (-0.40 ± 1.16% vs. 0.42 ± 1.51% [4.4 ± 12.7 mmol/mol vs. 4.6 ± 16.5 mmol/mol], P = 0.01), incidence of severe hypoglycemia (0.0% vs. 16%, P = 0.02), and global well-being (P = 0.02) at 12 months.
Conclusions. A structured transition program was successful in facilitating transition to adult care without a decrease in clinical follow-up. Compared with usual care, the transition program facilitated improvements in glycemic control, hypoglycemia, and psychosocial well-being.
Pyatak, E. A., Carandang, K., & Davis, S. (2015). Developing a manualized occupational therapy diabetes management intervention: Resilient, Empowered, Active Living with Diabetes. OTJR: Occupation, Participation and Health, 35(3), 187-194. https://doi.org/10.1177/1539449215584310 Show abstract
This article reports on the development of a manualized occupational therapy intervention for diabetes management. An initial theoretical framework and core content areas for a Stage 1 intervention manual were developed based on an in-depth needs assessment and review of existing literature. After evaluation by a panel of experts and completion of a feasibility study, the intervention was revised into a Stage 2 manual in preparation for a randomized study evaluating the intervention's efficacy. In developing the initial manual, we delineated core theoretical principles to allow for flexible application and tailoring of the intervention's content areas. Expert panel feedback and feasibility study results led to changes to the intervention structure and content as we developed the Stage 2 manual. Through describing this process, we illustrate the dynamic evolution of intervention manuals, which undergo revisions due to both theoretical and practical considerations at each stage of the research-to-clinical practice pipeline.
Lu, Y., Pyatak, E. A., Peters, A. L., Wood, J. R., Kipke, M., Cohen, M., & Sequeira, P. A. (2015). Patient perspectives on peer mentoring: Type 1 diabetes management in adolescents and young adults. The Diabetes Educator, 41(1), 59-68. https://doi.org/10.1177/0145721714559133 Show abstract
Purpose. The purpose of the study was to identify attitudes and topics relevant to peer mentoring as an adherence-promoting intervention for adolescents and young adults (YAs) with type 1 diabetes (T1D).
Methods. Self-administered survey data were collected in 2 diabetes clinics from a convenience sample of adolescents as prospective mentees (ages 13-18) and YAs as prospective mentors (ages 19-25) with T1D. Survey topics included demographics, disease history, glycemic control, adherence, depression, barriers to disease management, social support, and interest in peer mentoring. Descriptive statistical analyses, thematic coding, and stepwise multivariate logistic regression were performed.
Results. A majority of the 54 adolescents and 46 YAs expressed interest in a peer mentoring program. Having supportive friends and living in a large household positively predicted adolescent interest in having a peer mentor. Approximately one-third of all participants experienced social barriers to diabetes management. For adolescents, barriers included inflexible schedules, unfamiliar foods, and the embarrassment of checking blood glucose in front of others. Young adults reported barriers in tracking food consumption and remembering to check blood glucose. Various diabetes management skills were in high demand by adolescents, who especially desired to learn about managing T1D on their own and in college. Participants were open to multiple communication modes, including in-person meetings, phone, text messaging, and social media.
Conclusions. Many adolescents and young adults with T1D are interested in peer mentoring as a way to facilitate learning and sharing essential diabetes management skills and experiences.
Pyatak, E. A., Sequeira, P. A., Whittemore, R., Vigen, C. P., Peters, A. L., & Weigensberg, M. J. (2014). Challenges contributing to disrupted transition from paediatric to adult diabetes care in young adults with type 1 diabetes. Diabetic Medicine, 31(12), 1615-1624. https://doi.org/10.1111/dme.12485 Show abstract
Aim. To examine challenges contributing to disruptions in care during the transition from paediatric to adult care among young adults with Type 1 diabetes who are primarily in ethnic minority groups and have low socio-economic status.
Methods. Participants (n = 20) were newly enrolled patients in a transition clinic for young adults with Type 1 diabetes with a history of loss to medical follow-up. Participants completed qualitative semi-structured interviews detailing their transition experiences in addition to demographic, HbA1c and psychosocial measures. Descriptive statistics were completed for quantitative data, and narrative thematic analysis of interviews was used to identify common themes. A mixed-method analysis was used to identify the associations between stressors identified in interviews and clinical and psychosocial variables.
Results. Three categories of challenges contributing to loss to follow-up were identified: psychosocial challenges, health provider and health system challenges and developmental challenges. Participants experienced a high degree of stressful life circumstances which were associated with higher HbA1c (r = 0.60, P = 0.005), longer duration of loss to follow-up (r = 0.51, P = 0.02), greater emergency department utilization (r = 0.45, P = 0.05), and lower life satisfaction (r = -0.62, P = 0.003).
Conclusions. A confluence of challenges, including stressful life circumstances, healthcare system barriers and the developmental trajectory of young adulthood, contributes to a high risk of loss to follow-up and poor health in this population of young adults with Type 1 diabetes. An integrated approach to transition addressing medical and psychosocial needs may facilitate improved follow-up and health outcomes in clinical settings.
Pyatak, E. A., Florindez, D., Peters, A. L., & Weigensberg, M. J. (2014). “We are all gonna get diabetic these days:” The impact of a living legacy of type 2 diabetes on Hispanic young adults' diabetes care. The Diabetes Educator, 40(5), 648-658. https://doi.org/10.1177/0145721714535994 Show abstract
Purpose. The purpose of this study was to investigate how an intergenerational legacy of type 2 diabetes affected the knowledge, attitudes, and treatment strategies of Hispanic young adults with diabetes.
Methods. Eight Hispanic young adults (ages 18-30 years) participated in a series of in-home longitudinal qualitative interviews, and 11 of their family members completed single in-home interviews, regarding their diabetes management practices. Interview transcripts were analyzed thematically by a team of researchers.
Results. Five themes emerged that characterized the influence of an intergenerational legacy of diabetes on young adults: food and family (how meal preparation and eating are shared within families), doing together (activity participation is contingent on others’ participation), knowledge and expectations (expectations for the future and understandings of diabetes are shaped by family members), miscarried helping (well-intentioned actions have negative consequences), and reciprocal support (children and parents support each other’s diabetes care).
Conclusions. Hispanic young adults’ knowledge, attitudes, and self-care practices related to diabetes are strongly influenced by the diabetes management practices of family members with diabetes, which often depart from current standards of diabetes care. Care providers should consider family members as a potentially significant influence, either positive or negative, on the diabetes self-care practices of this population.
Pyatak, E. A., Sequeira, P., Peters, A. L., Montoya, L., & Weigensberg, M. J. (2013). Disclosure of psychosocial stressors affecting diabetes care among uninsured young adults with Type 1 diabetes. Diabetic Medicine, 30(9), 1140-1144. https://doi.org/10.1111/dme.12248 Show abstract
Aims. To determine the disclosure rates of psychosocial issues affecting routine diabetes care.
Methods. A total of 20 young adults were interviewed regarding the impact of psychosocial stressors on their diabetes care. The interviewer, endocrinologist and case manager reported the prevalence rates of psychosocial stressors. Disclosure rates were compared to determine the prevalence of psychosocial issues and the different patterns of disclosure.
Results. Participants reported a high number of psychosocial stressors, which were associated with poorer glycaemic control (r = 0.60, P = 0.005). Approximately half of all disclosed stressors (50.9%) were identified in routine care; other stressors were identified only through intensive case management and/or in-depth interviews.
Conclusions. Identifying psychosocial stressors in routine care, and providing referrals to psychological or social services, is a significant unmet need and may improve glycaemic control among certain populations with diabetes. Systematic mechanisms of capturing this information, such as by screening surveys, should be considered.
Pyatak, E. A., Florindez, D., & Weigensberg, M. J. (2013). Adherence decision making in the everyday lives of emerging adults with type 1 diabetes. Patient Preference and Adherence, 7, 709-718. https://doi.org/10.2147/PPA.S47577 Show abstract
Purpose. The purpose of this study was to explore motivations underlying nonadherent treatment decisions made by young adults with type 1 diabetes.
Methods. Eight emerging adults each completed a series of semi-structured interviews concerning their approaches to diabetes care, relationships with clinicians, and everyday activities and routines. A narrative thematic analysis was used to develop initial themes and refine them through continued data collection and review of the research literature.
Results. Five themes were identified as motivating nonadherence: (1) efforts to mislead health care providers, (2) adherence to alternative standards, (3) treatment fatigue and burnout, (4) social support problems, and (5) emotional and self-efficacy problems.
Conclusion. Instances of nonadherence generally involved a combination of the five identified themes. Participants reporting nonadherence also described difficulties communicating with care providers regarding their treatment. Nonjudgmental communication between providers and emerging adults may be particularly important in promoting positive health outcomes in this population.
Pyatak, E. A. (2011). Participation in occupation and diabetes self-management in emerging adulthood. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 65(4), 462-469. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2011.001453 Show abstract
I present the findings of a study aimed at developing an in-depth understanding of how engagement in occupation influences young adults’ ability to effectively manage diabetes and, conversely, how their diabetes self-management strategies shape their occupational participation. The qualitative interview-based study of 8 people ages 19–25 with Type 1 diabetes revealed that study participants often experienced tension between diabetes self-management and participation in valued occupations, which required them to make calculated decisions about how to balance these competing priorities in their everyday lives. Seven themes are discussed in detail that characterized the relationship between participating in valued occupations and attending to the complex factors that dictate successful diabetes self-management. This research offers a preliminary framework for occupational therapists to assist young adults with diabetes and other chronic illnesses in reconciling these competing demands.
Pyatak, E. A. (2011). The role of occupational therapy in diabetes self-management interventions. OTJR: Occupation, Participation and Health, 31(2), 89-96. https://doi.org/10.3928/15394492-20100622-01 Show abstract
Approximately 23.6 million people in the United States are living with diabetes, a disease that is a leading cause of disabling conditions including blindness, kidney failure, amputations, heart disease, and stroke. Although these complications of diabetes can be delayed or prevented through intensive diabetes self-management (DSM), maintaining control of the disease can be burdensome and negatively impact quality of life. Occupational therapy has a largely untapped potential to assist individuals who struggle with managing diabetes in the context of everyday life, yet there is little discussion of DSM in the occupational therapy literature. The author conducts a systematic review of the existing occupational therapy literature on diabetes, examines the current state of DSM interventions, and discusses a potential role for occupational therapy using programs such as Lifestyle Redesign®.
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