Objective: The reason for center differences in metabolic control of childhood diabetes is still unknown. We sought to determine to what extent the targets, expectations, and goals that diabetes care professionals have for their patients is a determinant of center differences in metabolic outcomes.
Research Design and Methods: Children, under the age of 11 with type 1 diabetes and their parents treated at the study centers participated. Clinical, medical, and demographic data were obtained, along with blood sample for centralized assay. Parents and all members of the diabetes care team completed questionnaires on treatment targets for hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) and recommended frequency of blood glucose monitoring. Results: Totally 1113 (53% male) children (mean age 8.0±2.1years) from 18 centers in 17 countries, along with parents and 113 health-care professionals, participated. There were substantial differences in mean HbA1c between centers ranging from 7.3±0.8% (53mmol/mol±8.7) to 8.9±1.1% (74mmol/mol±12.0). Centers with lower mean HbA1c had (1) parents who reported lower targets for their children, (2) health-care professionals that reported lower targets and more frequent testing, and (3) teams with less disagreement about recommended targets. Multiple regression analysis indicated that teams reporting higher HbA1c targets and more target disagreement had parents reporting higher treatment targets. This seemed to partially account for center differences in Hb1Ac.
Conclusions: The diabetes care teams' cohesiveness and perspectives on treatment targets, expectations, and recommendations have an influence on parental targets, contributing to the differences in pediatric diabetes center outcomes.