Multidisciplinary diabetes team care: the experiences of young adults with Type 1 diabetes

Janice Wiley*, Mary Westbrook, Janet Long, Jerry R. Greenfield, Richard O. Day, Jeffrey Braithwaite

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Background: This research examined whether young adults with Type 1 diabetes engage with the multidisciplinary consultation process and if not, then why. Methods: We designed a web-based self-reported survey, available online from February to May 2011, for Australian adults 18-35 years with Type 1 diabetes. Respondents were asked about which clinicians they consulted to assist with self-management. To expand on the results of the survey, we interviewed 33 respondents. Results: Survey: Respondents (n = 150) consulted with the following clinicians: endocrinologist and diabetes educators: 23.3%; endocrinologist only: 18.0%; endocrinologist, diabetes educators and dieticians: 14.6%; endocrinologist, diabetes educators, dietician and general practitioners (GP): 11.3%; endocrinologist and GP: 10.6%; GP only: 4.6%; all clinicians recommended to assist with self-management: 1.3%; 2.7% did not consult any clinician. Interview: Participants (n = 33) reported eight key disincentives to consultation with multidisciplinary clinicians. These were time constraints; provision of conflicting advice; inaccessibility of health services; variation in service standards; cost constraints; failure of clinicians to refer to other clinicians; lack of opportunity to build a therapeutic relationship; and failure of clinicians to engage in shared decision making. Conclusion: Our results indicate that high attrition rates of young adults with Type 1 diabetes from recommended diabetes health services is linked to the failure of those services to meet the needs and preferences of their patients. The identified needs and preferences included joint consultation with multi-disciplinary team clinicians; flexible access to advice by email or telephone consultation; and shared decision making. Patient engagement in health-service re-design has implications for improved health-service delivery and enhanced treatment outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1783-1796
Number of pages14
JournalHealth Expectations
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2015
Externally publishedYes


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