Background: Type 1 diabetes is one of the chronic metabolic disorders among children and adolescents. Peers are also important units in diabetes management through adolescence. This study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of peer-based intervention in managing type 1 diabetes mellitus among children and adolescents.
Methods: Searching articles published prior to December 2013 in PubMed, Web of Science, Cochrane library, Science Direct, Google scholar, CINAHL and Scopus, we found 8,548 publications. The first reviewer critically appraised the retrieved articles, using the CONSORT and the TREND checklists and then the second-assessor checked them. All abstracts were screened, and only eight full text articles remained for evaluation based on inclusion criteria
Results: Eight studies, including five randomized controlled trials, one controlled trial, and two pre-post trials were critically appraised based on CONSORT and the TREND checklists. The outcomes of these studies were as follows: knowledge (three studies), attitude (two studies), performance (one study), clinical parameters—exclusively HbA1c—(four studies), and psychosocial parameters—such as quality of life, coping, self-care, self-confidence, satisfaction with the perceived social support, social skills, and diabetes-related conflicts
Conclusion: The findings of this systematic review revealed that peer-based interventions could help to manage diabetes. While there is a lack of professional or family-based interventions and education, peers can be involved in the process of patient education. As there are few studies in the area of peer-based diabetes management, conducting further interventional studies with robust methodology is highly recommended.