Benefits and Barriers of Continuous Glucose Monitoring in Young Children with Type 1 Diabetes

Marisa E. Hilliard, Wendy Levy, Barbara J. Anderson, Amanda L. Whitehouse, Persis V. Commissariat, Kara R. Harrington, Lori M. Laffel, Kellee M. Miller, Michelle Van Name, William V. Tamborlane, Daniel J. Desalvo, Linda A. Dimeglio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations


Background: Continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) has potential to address challenges of type 1 diabetes (T1D) management for young children. CGM use is increasing, yet remains underutilized. Characterizing parents' experiences with CGM can inform clinical strategies to help parents make decisions about diabetes management, overcome obstacles to initiating and sustaining CGM use, and maximize benefits of CGM use in their children's diabetes care. Methods: Transcripts from semistructured qualitative interviews with 55 parents of children aged 1 to <8 years, with T1D duration ≥6 months, and whose child currently or previously used CGM were coded and analyzed to derive themes about their experiences with CGM. Results: Participants were 88% mothers and the mean child age was 5.0 ± 1.5 years. Parents described benefits of CGM use: decreased worry about glucose excursions, improved sleep, increased sense of safety with children who cannot recognize or express symptoms of hypo- or hyperglycemia, and greater comfort with other caregivers, especially using remote monitoring functionality when away from children. Challenges included painful insertions, wearing multiple devices on small bodies, disruptive alerts, data gaps due to lost signals, skin/adhesive problems, and difficulty interpreting the amount of information generated by CGM. For some, the challenges outweighed potential benefits and they stopped CGM use. Conclusions: CGM may address unique challenges of T1D in young children and increase parental comfort with diabetes management, yet there are multiple barriers to initiating or maintaining CGM use. Education and behavioral support to address these benefits and barriers may equip caregivers with skills to address challenges of CGM use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)493-498
Number of pages6
JournalDiabetes Technology and Therapeutics
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2019


  • Child
  • Health behavior
  • Parents
  • Type 1 diabetes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology
  • Medical Laboratory Technology

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    Hilliard, M. E., Levy, W., Anderson, B. J., Whitehouse, A. L., Commissariat, P. V., Harrington, K. R., Laffel, L. M., Miller, K. M., Van Name, M., Tamborlane, W. V., Desalvo, D. J., & Dimeglio, L. A. (2019). Benefits and Barriers of Continuous Glucose Monitoring in Young Children with Type 1 Diabetes. Diabetes Technology and Therapeutics, 21(9), 493-498.