oa Journal of Endocrinology, Metabolism and Diabetes in South Africa - Assessing maths literacy skills in type 1 diabetic children and their caregivers : original research
Background: It is essential that children have adequate numeracy and literacy skills in order to manage their diabetes effectively. The objective was to undertake a pilot study to assess the level of numeracy skills in type 1 diabetic children and their caregivers, and to ascertain if there was a deficit in these skills. This cross-sectional descriptive study comprised 53 children and 37 primary caregivers, who attended the paediatric diabetic clinics at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic and Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic hospitals from March to September 2009.
Method: The participants were interviewed and completed a diabetes mathematical questionnaire. Patient records were accessed.
Results: The mean age of the children was 12.92 ± 2.96 years. The children and the caregivers performed poorly in the applied maths section, and had lower "functional" grades (grades achieved on testing) compared to their actual grades. An inverse relationship was also found between the HbA1c levels and numeracy scores.
Conclusion: Educational programmes need to accommodate patients and caregivers with lower numeracy skills, and should incorporate numeracy training as a core component of diabetes education.
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