Principle Investigator: Dr. Olga Gupta
Disease: Type I/II Diabetes
Research Description: Type I and Type II diabetes are chronic diseases which require vigilant monitoring of blood glucose levels and insulin management. Developing self-care skills in youth skills is critical for effective life-long treatment. A number of other studies have found that social factors can help in diabetes control. The researchers investigated whether the responsibilities involved in pet care would also have beneficial results for diabetic management. Dr. Gupta randomly selected adolescent diabetic patients to give a gift card for a pet fish, along with equipment and instructions for both fish- and self-care. The researchers found that patients with a pet fish had fewer emergency room visits and better blood glucose levels than patients who did not receive a pet fish. This applies to both type I and type II diabetics. Pet care combined with self-care is an inexpensive and feasible strategy to improve patient outcomes among children with diabetes.
CWR funding role: Primary funder
Publication(s): The Diabetes Educator
→ Data are supporting off-label clinical use