Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is one of the most common chronic diseases in youth and it has been shown that adolescents have the worst glycemic control of any age group. The objective of this study was to develop, test and evaluate the feasibility of an online intervention (Can-Do-Tude) that uses the principles of motivational interviewing (MI) to deliver tailored diabetes self-management education to adolescents with T1D. Bandura’s efficacy belief system was used to guide the design of this study.
The study used a multi-phase, multi-method approach. The first phase (alpha) of this study was a qualitative descriptive design to examine the intervention’s fidelity. Evaluation of performance was conducted by experts in the fields of MI, T1D, adolescence and/or online education. The second phase (beta) was a quantitative descriptive design conducted in order to evaluate feasibility by examining the acceptability (recruitment, retention and satisfaction) and implementation (diabetes self-management self-efficacy) to determine whether the intervention was appropriate for further testing.
First phase findings showed that the intervention passed all measures with the content experts (n = 6): it was functional, accurate, usable and secure. Improvements to the intervention were made based on reviewer recommendations. For the second phase 5 adolescents between 14 and 17 were enrolled. Three adolescents completed all 4 weeks of the intervention while 2 completed only 3 weeks. Participants (n = 3) rated satisfaction on a 5-point Likert-type scale ranging from “not at all” satisfied (1) to “very much” satisfied (5). There was a positive response to the intervention (M = 4.28, SD = 0.55). Implementation was measured by a pre- and post-test for diabetes self-management self-efficacy. Participants (n = 3) demonstrated overall improvements in diabetes self-management self-efficacy (Z = -2.952, p = .007).
Implications for further Can-Do-Tude research are planned at a metropolitan diabetes center using updated technology including an application platform. Although the sample was small, findings indicate that the intervention can be conducted using a web-based format and there is initial evidence of improvement in self-efficacy for diabetes self-management.