Introduction Early adulthood is the developmental period during which individuals assume a greater degree of independent functioning and take on adult roles. A chronic illness like diabetes could hinder the development of these aspects of life cycle.
Objectives To assess the emotional dysfunction associated with diabetes, in young romanian individuals with type 1 diabetes.
Material and Methods A cross sectional survey was conducted to perform a complete clinical, biochemical and psychological evaluation of 63 consecutive type-1 diabetes patients, aged 14–20 years, diagnosed with diabetes as children or adolescents. We used the PAID score (problem areas in diabetes) to assess to emotional response to diabetes. The PAID was developed by the Joslin Diabetes Center, Boston (self-administered questionnaire; 20 items that cover a range of emotional problems frequently reported in diabetes, scored each from 0 to 4).
Results Adolescents had high scores of emotional dysfunction related to diabetes and a diminished knowledge in diabetes-related area. A multivariate logistic regression model showed that an inadequate emotional response to diabetes (high PAID scores) was mainly associated with a poor glycemic control. Apprehension about the future and the possibility of serious complications had the highest mean PAID score. The PAID has been found to be negatively correlated to age, unrelated to duration of diabetes, education, and gender.
Conclusions The identification of psychological and behavioral problems in adolescents and young adults with diabetes is mandatory. New strategies should be developed to improve the routine care and support of young individuals with type-1 diabetes.