Computerized Education to Prevent Hypoglycemia When Driving
Dr. Defazio's long-term goal is to decrease the risk for driving accidents associated with severe hypoglycemia among adolescents/young adults with Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus. Type 1 diabetes is a common chronic disease affecting millions of US children and adolescents. Although maintaining blood sugar levels near normal will decrease the risk for long-term complications of blindness and kidney failure, tight control carries the risk of severe hypoglycemia (low levels of blood sugar) which may result in impaired judgment, loss of consciousness and seizures. If this occurs while driving, it may result in severe injury and death. Intensive group-based blood glucose awareness training (BGAT) has been shown to decrease the risk for hypoglycemia when driving for adults but the existing program not been designed or tested with adolescents. Dr. Defazio's interdisciplinary project will develop and test a unique computer-based delivery system to provide the initial education about driving and hypoglycemia to adolescents and their parents using combined audio/visual formats provided on a laptop computer.