The aim of this study was to assess the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on adolescents and young adults living with type 2 diabetes (T2D) involved in the national Improving Renal Complications in Adolescents with T2D through REsearch (iCARE) study.
The Environmental influences on Child Health Outcomes (ECHO) COVID-19 Questionnaire developed by the National Institutes of Health ECHO COVID-19 Task Force was administered to participants (n=85) from the iCARE study between June 2020 and October 2020. Children 12 years old (via parent report) and adolescents and young adults ≥13 years old (via self-report) participated. The questionnaire assessed the impact of the pandemic on health-care appointments, lifestyle, internet use, social connections and mental health.
Participants were 17.0±3.1 (range, 12 to 27) years of age and predominantly female (61.3%). During the pandemic, 69.4% were able to attend their health-care appointments by telephone or virtual platforms, 31.7% ate more, 45.1% slept more and 29.3% spent less time on physical activities. There was an increase in internet use for both educational (42.0%) and noneducational purposes (54.9%). Participants felt less socially connected (64.6%). Participants also felt sometimes (59.2%), often (19.7%) and very often (6.7%) satisfied with their lives.
Our study revealed that the COVID-19 pandemic has had various impacts on the daily lives of adolescents and young adults living with T2D. Future research should include longitudinal studies of the health burden of the COVID-19 pandemic on this population, with a more in-depth evaluation of mental health outcomes and clinical outcomes.