Assessing guideline adherence in the management of type 1 diabetes mellitus in Australian children: a population-based sample survey

Richard G. McGee, Chris T. Cowell, Gaston Arnolda, Hsuen P. Ting, Peter Hibbert, S. Bruce Dowton, Jeffrey Braithwaite

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Introduction: To estimate adherence to clinical practice guidelines in selected settings at a population level for Australian children with type 1 diabetes mellitus. Research design and methods: Medical records of children with type 1 diabetes mellitus aged 0-15 years in 2012-2013 were targeted for sampling across inpatient, emergency department and community visits with specialist pediatricians in regional and metropolitan areas and tertiary pediatric hospitals in three states where approximately 60% of Australian children reside. Clinical recommendations extracted from two clinical practice guidelines were used to audit adherence. Results were aggregated across types of care (diagnosis, routine care, emergency care). Results: Surveyors conducted 6346 indicator assessments from an audit of 539 healthcare visits by 251 children. Average adherence across all indicators was estimated at 79.9% (95% CI 69.5 to 88.0). Children with type 1 diabetes mellitus have higher rates of behavioral and psychological disorders, but only a third of children (37.9%; 95% CI 11.7 to 70.7) with suboptimal glycemic control (eg, hemoglobin A1c >10% or 86 mmol/mol) were screened for psychological disorders using a validated tool; this was the only indicator with <50% estimated adherence. Adherence by care type was: 86.1% for diagnosis (95% CI 76.7 to 92.7); 78.8% for routine care (95% CI 65.4 to 88.9) and 83.9% for emergency care (95% CI 78.4 to 88.5). Conclusions: Most indicators for care of children with type 1 diabetes mellitus were adhered to. However, there remains room to improve adherence to guidelines for optimization of practice consistency and minimization of future disease burden.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere001141
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalBMJ Open Diabetes Research and Care
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2020

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2020. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • children's quality of care
  • clinical practice guidelines
  • pediatric type 1 diabetes


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