Open Access Study protocol

A multicentre randomized controlled trial of an empowerment-inspired intervention for adolescents starting continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion - a study protocol

Anna Lena Brorsson1*, Janeth Leksell23, Gunnel Viklund1 and Anna Lindholm Olinder34

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Women’s and Children’s Health, Karolinska Institute and Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden

2 School of Health and Social Studies, Högskolan Dalarna, Sweden

3 Department of Medical Sciences, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden

4 Department of Clinical Science and Education, Karolinska Institute, Södersjukhuset, Stockholm, Sweden

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BMC Pediatrics 2013, 13:212  doi:10.1186/1471-2431-13-212

Published: 20 December 2013



Continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion (CSII) treatment among children with type 1 diabetes is increasing in Sweden. However, studies evaluating glycaemic control in children using CSII show inconsistent results. The distribution of responsibility for diabetes self-management between children and parents is often unclear and needs clarification. There is much published support for continued parental involvement and shared diabetes management during adolescence. Guided Self-Determination (GSD) is an empowerment-based, person-centred, reflection and problem solving method intended to guide the patient to become self-sufficient and develop life skills for managing difficulties in diabetes self-management. This method has been adapted for adolescents and parents as Guided Self-Determination-Young (GSD-Y). This study aims to evaluate the effect of an intervention with GSD-Y in groups of adolescents starting on insulin pumps and their parents on diabetes-related family conflicts, perceived health and quality of life (QoL), and metabolic control. Here, we describe the protocol and plans for study enrolment.


This study is designed as a randomized, controlled, prospective, multicentre study. Eighty patients between 12–18 years of age who are planning to start CSII will be included. All adolescents and their parents will receive standard insulin pump training. The education intervention will be conducted when CSII is to be started and at four appointments in the first 4 months after starting CSII. The primary outcome is haemoglobin A1c levels. Secondary outcomes are perceived health and QoL, frequency of blood glucose self-monitoring and bolus doses, and usage of carbohydrate counting. The following instruments will be used: Disabkids, ‘Check your health’, the Diabetes Family Conflict Scale and the Swedish Diabetes Empowerment Scale. Outcomes will be evaluated within and between groups by comparing data at baseline, and at 6 and 12 months after starting treatment.


In this study, we will assess the effect of starting an CSII together with the model of GSD to determine whether this approach leads to retention of improved glycaemic control, QoL, responsibility distribution and reduced diabetes-related conflicts in the family.

Trial registration

Current controlled trials: ISRCTN22444034

Type 1 diabetes; Continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion (CSII); Adolescence; Parental involvement; Person-centred care; Guided self-determination-Young (GSD-Y)