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Simplified integration of optimal self-management behaviors is associated with improved HbA1c in patients with type 1 diabetes.

PURPOSE: Living with type 1 diabetes requires burdensome and complex daily diabetes self-management behaviors. This study aimed to determine the association between integrated behavior performance and HbA1c, while identifying the behavior with the most significant impact on HbA1c.

METHODS: A simple and feasible questionnaire was used to collect diabetes self-management behavior in patients with type 1 diabetes (n = 904). We assessed six dimensions of behavior performance: continuous glucose monitor (CGM) usage, frequent glucose testing, insulin pump usage, carbohydrate counting application, adjustment of insulin doses, and usage of apps for diabetes management. We evaluated the association between these behaviors and HbA1c.

RESULTS: In total, 21.3% of patients performed none of the allotted behavior, while 28.5% of patients had a total behavior score of 3 or more. 63.6% of patients with a behavior score ≥ 3 achieved HbA1c goal, contrasting with only 30.4% of patients with a behavior score of 0-1. There was a mean 0.54% ± 0.05% decrease in HbA1c for each 1-unit increase in total behavior score after adjustment for age, family education and diabetes duration. Each behavior was independently correlated with a lower HbA1c level, with CGM having the most significant effect on HbA1c levels.

CONCLUSIONS: Six optimal self-management behaviors, especially CGM usage, were associated with improved glycemic control, emphasizing the feasibility of implementing a simplified version of DSMES in the routine clinical care.

REGISTRATION NUMBER: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT03610984.

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