A strategy for an interdisciplinary intervention on children with diabetes: a pilot study

Authors: Constanţa Urzeală1, Mihaela Vlăiculescu2, Daniel Courteix3


1National University of Physical Education and Sports from Bucharest, Romania

2DiabNutriMed Clinic of Diabetes, Bucharest, Romania

3Université d’Auvergne, Clermont-Ferrand, France


Background. Specialists draw attention to the alarming incidence of type 1 diabetes mellitus during childhood, registering over 140,000 young people with this disease in Europe.

Aims. The aim was to explore a strategy based on motor, psychological, social and nutritional interventions addressed to children with type 1 diabetes mellitus, besides specific medical care, in order to improve their overall well-being.

Methods. This study comprised 11 children aged between 5 and 12 years and their families. For the motor intervention, the experiment included extracurricular physical activity once per week. The assessments consisted of Matorin and Eurofit tests. For the psychological intervention, our goal was to identify the emotional challenges that children with diabetes had to face. In this respect, the Man test was applied. For the social intervention, we conducted a social survey based on two questionnaires: one for the parents of children with diabetes, and one for the classmates of a child. For the nutritional intervention, counseling sessions for parents were conducted. The nutritionist’s reports and the medical records were analyzed.

Results. The applied physical exercises were the only extracurricular physical activity performed by the subjects, with 3 exceptions. Ninety percent of children drew the entire silhouette, 10% drew only the torso. The parents rarely faced social problems. The report on nutritional counseling activities highlighted a major difficulty in carrying out this approach.

Conclusions. The strategy was effective in fulfilling the specific medical diabetes care and indirectly increasing the well-being of the subjects.

Keywords: diabetes, children, physical activity.


A strategy for an interdisciplinary intervention on children with diabetes: a pilot study