BACKGROUND: Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is a chronic metabolic condition requiring intensive daily self-care to avoid both high and low blood glucose levels. Self-care and glycemic outcomes are particularly problematic in adolescence, a period known for its increased risk of emotional problems. However, the true scope of mood and anxiety disorders in adolescents with T1D is unknown. Earlier studies are limited by a small sample size, lack of diagnostic interview data, a focus on depression only, non-adolescent specific estimates, lack of information about parental emotional problems and/or a cross-sectional design. Diabetes LEAP is a two-year prospective observational cohort study examining (a) the prevalence and course of depression and anxiety in adolescents with T1D and their parents/caregivers, (b) the risk factors predicting the presence of these emotional problems, (c) their longitudinal relation with diabetes outcomes, and (d) the psychosocial care currently in place.
METHODS: Adolescents (12-18 years) from 8 Dutch pediatric diabetes clinics are interviewed using the DISC-IV to establish the presence of mood and anxiety disorders in the previous 4 weeks, the previous 12 months, and lifetime. They also complete questionnaires, including CDI-2, GAD-7, and PAID-T. Parents/caregivers complete PHQ-9, GAD-7, and PAID-PR. Follow-up assessments take place after 1 and 2 years.
DISCUSSION: This longitudinal study with diagnostic interviews in a large cohort of adolescents with T1D in the Netherlands will provide much needed information regarding the prevalence and course of depression and anxiety in this group, thereby opening avenues for proper recognition, prevention and timely treatment.