All systems go: An ecological perspective of behavioral health for youth with type 1 diabetes.

Introduction: Youth with type 1 diabetes (T1D) experiencing self-management difficulties are at risk of irreversible long-term health problems and consume a disproportionate amount of health care resources. Behavioral health interventions for this population have shown limited long-term effects, perhaps because of limited research on and intervention in relevant environments. To effectively intervene, providers must first thoroughly understand how risk factors interact with various contexts (e.g., school, home, hospital) to determine opportunities for the development of relevant interventions. Method: This review utilized an ecological systems framework to examine the state of the literature with regard to risk factors for poor T1D outcomes and associated intervention. Results: This review identified that, whereas risk factors in some systems (e.g., individual, family) have received disproportionate scrutiny, other environments and contexts (e.g., school, medical system) have been relatively neglected by researchers. Similarly, interventions that target understudied environments are lacking, and the majority of rigorously studied interventions only target a single context. Perhaps this accounts for the lack of interventions shown to have a long-term impact on glycemic control. Discussion: Our review demonstrates that researchers and funding agencies should prioritize efforts that (a) examine the influence of underexamined environments (e.g., primary care clinics, schools) and interactions (e.g., health care provider to parent, school nurse to youth) on T1D outcomes, (b) place increased emphasis on inclusion of understudied populations (e.g., families of minority racial/ethnic backgrounds), and (c) develop and evaluate interventions that specifically are tailored for these settings, interactions, and populations. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)