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Study seeks new ways to help teens manage type 1 diabetes

Nov. 8, 2012, 11:19 AM

Shelagh Mulvaney, Ph.D., assistant professor of Nursing, leads a national team of researchers, engineers and designers that recently landed a $1.8 million federal grant to identify new ways to teach critical problem-solving skills to teenagers with type 1 diabetes using an Internet and mobile phone-based system.

The four-year project, funded by a Type 1 Diabetes Targeted Research grant (DP3) from the National Institutes of Health (DK097706), will create a program that will integrate blood glucose values into multimedia stories created by teenagers, social networking and problem solving activities through the Internet and mobile phones.

“Dr. Mulvaney and other Vanderbilt colleagues began working with this often isolated population three years ago with a website that improved adherence and glycemic control through modeling problem solving skills,” said Ann Minnick Ph.D., R.N., Julia Eleanor Chenault Professor of Nursing and senior associate dean of Research for VUSN. “This new grant builds on that work by connecting adolescents through integrating blood glucose data into age-appropriate communication tools and social learning activities.”

The project team includes several Vanderbilt faculty including Kevin Johnson, M.D., chair of Biomedical Informatics, Vanderbilt School of Engineering’s Douglas Schmidt, Ph.D., associate chair for Computer Science and Engineering; Pamela Hull, Ph.D., assistant professor of Medicine in the Division of Epidemiology; and the Eskind Pediatric Diabetes Clinic’s Cindy Lybarger APRN.

National collaborators include Lori Laffel, Ph.D., a pediatric endocrinologist from the Harvard Joslin Diabetes Clinic; Korey Hood Ph.D., a behavioral psychologist from the University of California at San Francisco, and a medical interaction design team, Mad*Pow, headquartered in Boston.

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