Virtual Peer Groups Reduce HbA1c and Increase Continuous Glucose Monitor Use in Adolescents and Young Adults with Type 1 Diabetes

Daniel I. Bisno, Mark W. Reid, Elizabeth A. Pyatak, Jaquelin Flores Garcia, Elizabeth Salcedo-Rodriguez, Alejandra Torres Sanchez, D. Steven Fox, Sarah Hiyari, Jennifer L. Fogel, Ian Marshall, Gloria Bachmann, Jennifer K. Raymond

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Adolescents and young adults (AYA) from diverse and marginalized backgrounds with type 1 diabetes (T1D) generally have higher hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) levels and less frequent continuous glucose monitor (CGM) use than AYA from more privileged backgrounds. Further, scant data address the impact of virtual peer groups (VPG) on health-related outcomes for ethnically and racially diverse AYA with T1D. Methods: CoYoT1 to California was a 15-month randomized controlled trial for AYA aged 16-25 years. In this study, AYA were randomized to receive standard care (n = 28), or CoYoT1 care (n = 40), which consisted of person-centered provider visits and bimonthly VPG. VPG were AYA-driven discussions. AYA completed the Diabetes Distress Scale (DDS), Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression (CES-D), and Diabetes Empowerment Scale-Short Form (DES-SF) scales at baseline and all study visits. Results: Participants were 50% Latinx and 75% publicly insured. Among CoYoT1 care participants, 19 attended at least 1 VPG session (VPG attendees) and 21 did not attend any VPG sessions. VPG attendees participated in 4.1 VPG sessions on average. VPG attendees had a relative reduction in HbA1C (treatment effect −1.08%, effect sizes values [ES] = −0.49, P = 0.04) and increase in CGM use (treatment effect +47%, ES = 1.00, P = 0.02) compared to standard care. VPG participation was not associated with statistically significant changes in DDS, CES-D, and DES-SF scores. Conclusions: In a 15-month randomized controlled trial, AYA with T1D who participated in VPG reported significant improvements in HbA1c and CGM use. Peer interactions may support unmet needs of AYA with T1D from diverse and marginalized backgrounds. Identifier: NCT03793673.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalDiabetes Technology and Therapeutics
StateAccepted/In press - 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology
  • Medical Laboratory Technology


  • Telehealth
  • Type 1 diabetes
  • Virtual peer groups
  • Young adults


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