Congratulations to Professor Denise Charron-Prochownik, PhD, CPNP, FAAN, for successfully pursuing funding from Eli Lilly for her project on “Tailoring Preconception Counseling for Hispanic Adolescents with Diabetes.” This year-long grant of $65,247 will help to extend her existing work (the READY-Girls Program) on the value and promotion of preconception counseling (PC) for women with diabetes. Such counseling includes advice, information, and care from a specialized team of health professionals to help young women with diabetes achieve glycemic control and to delay a pregnancy until it is medically safe.
Little is known regarding the awareness, attitudes and behaviors related to PC, family planning, and contraception vigilance of adolescent Hispanic females with diabetes. Furthermore, for adolescent Hispanics, female members of their social network (such as their mothers) play a key role in providing culturally relevant information on reproductive health practices, and should be involved in the formative phases of the intervention.
With the support of this grant, Dr. Charron-Prochownik will explore the understanding of reproductive health and diabetes, preconception counseling, risks of unplanned pregnancies, the importance of tight metabolic control, family planning and contraception vigilance among female adolescent Hispanics with diabetes (and their mothers). This information will be used to adapt the READY-Girls program to be culturally and linguistically appropriate for this Spanish-speaking group. This intervention, Reproductive-health Education & Awareness of Diabetes in Youth for Girls (READY-Girls), is a self-instructional intervention proven to increase awareness of unplanned pregnancies and complications among teens with diabetes. Originally tailored for older teenage girls with Type 1 Diabetes, it has already been refined to apply to a broader age range (13–21 years), a more ethnically diverse population of adolescent females, and to include patients with both Type 1 and 2 Diabetes. Now, the Eli Lilly funding will facilitate the testing and adaptation of READY-Girls to 13-21 year old Hispanic females with either Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetes. Designed by Dr. Charron-Prochownik, this intervention has been adopted by the American Diabetes Association as the model preconception counseling program for teens with diabetes. An accompanying publication aimed at young women, based on this project, has been published and distributed by the Association.