DOI: 10.1177/26350106241232634 ISSN: 2635-0106

Association Between Psychosocial Acuity and Glycemic Control in a Pediatric Type 1 Diabetes Clinic

Joseph Wardell, Dana Albright, Claire Chang, Melissa A. Plegue, Jung Eun Lee, Emily Hirschfeld, Ashley Garrity, Joyce M. Lee, Melissa DeJonckheere
  • Health Professions (miscellaneous)
  • Health (social science)
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


The purpose of this study was to describe the frequency of psychosocial risk and its associations with glycemic levels in youth with type 1 diabetes (T1D) seen by social work staff during regular clinical care.


A retrospective longitudinal analysis of observational clinical data was conducted. Individuals (1-26 years) with known T1D who were seen at a pediatric diabetes clinic in a US academic medical center between 2014 and 2021 were included. Variables included psychosocial acuity, A1C, and demographic characteristics. Chi-square tests, Wilcoxon rank sum tests, and mixed linear regressions were used to examine associations between demographic variables, psychosocial acuity, and A1C.


Of 966 patients, 513 (53.1%) were male, 76 (7.9%) were non-Hispanic Black, and 804 (83.2%) were non-Hispanic White. There was a mean of 6.9 annual social work encounters per patient, with 3 psychosocial domains measured at each visit. Results showed that as psychosocial acuity level increased, glycemic control decreased. There were significant differences in A1C according to race/ethnicity, insurance, age, and psychosocial acuity.


In a real-world clinical population, psychosocial acuity was associated with glycemic control. Presenting for psychosocial issues in their diabetes clinic was associated with reduced glycemic control among youth with T1D. There is an opportunity to connect pediatric patients with appropriate mental health services and psychosocial supports.

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