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[IP] R U taking UR insulin?


Friday, 24 May, 2002, 22:58 GMT 23:58 UK R U taking UR insulin?

 Messages will be sent to teenagers' mobiles

Diabetic teenagers are to be supported by text messages from their doctors in 
a pioneering scheme. A team from Dundee University is about to begin trials 
of the 'Sweet Talk' project. There are an estimated 20,000 young people with 
Type I diabetes in the UK. The Dundee team quote Scottish research which 
shows many do not control their blood sugar levels properly. 
get ur friends 2 b active 

Text message idea 
This can be linked to complications in later life, such as kidney failure, 
blindness heart disease and stroke. They also estimate that around a quarter 
of young people do not take their insulin dose as prescribed. Supportive 
messages In a bid to support teenagers in a way they will take notice of, 
doctors and computer experts are compiling a library of messages. These 
include: "ur in control of ur diabetes", "get ur friends 2 b active", "put a 
positive spin on ur diabetes" and "leaky sites :( change ur site" - advice 
for people who need to change the part of the body into which they inject 
their insulin. 
Some teenagers have difficulty managing diabetes on a day-to-day basis 

Dr Victoria Franklin, University of Dundee 
Teenagers will talk to doctors about managing their diabetes and any problems 
at their regular hospital appointments. Text messages applicable to them will 
then be sent out to them to support them between clinic visits. The text 
messages will be co-ordinated on a computer system, which could handle a 
limitless number of patients. Teenagers will also be able to devise their own 
messages, and may also be able to send messages back. Researchers are also 
hoping to create a website for the project. The trial of the text messaging 
service hopes to recruit around 100 diabetics aged between eight and 18 in 
the Tayside area. Responsibility Dr Victoria Franklin, Diabetes UK Paediatric 
Research Fellow at the University of Dundee, spearheaded the scheme, which 
won two Medical Futures Innovations Awards this month. She told BBC News 
Online: "We wanted to create a scheduled text messaging service so we could 
keep in touch with patients in-between clinics. "Some teenagers have 
difficulty managing diabetes on a day-to-day basis, remembering to take their 
insulin, frequent blood sugar tests. "We want to try and help them." She 
added it could be hard when young people had to start managing their diabetes 
themselves. "Most teenagers want responsibility, but sometimes it's difficult 
to take it all in, and it's a time of rebellion. "Part of the reason we chose 
text-messaging is part of teenage culture and its what they do to 
communicate. "We hope the messages will be motivational rather than nagging." 
Dr Moira Murphy, director of research at Diabetes UK said: "We are delighted 
that Dr Franklin has been awarded for her idea on improving diabetes 
management in teenagers. "Her proposal highlights a particularly worrying 
problem among adolescents and we are pleased that her efforts are receiving 
this additional recognition which is much deserved."
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