Opportunities for newer diabetes treatment suddenly expanded for our type 1 diabetes patients in East Los Angeles in 2014. After the implementation of the Affordable Care Act and the expansion of MediCal, insulin pens and pumps became available to more patients through the new coverage options these plan provided.

 

But insurance coverage wasn’t enough, there was still a barrier to learning how to use new devices because all of the training guides were written at an 11th grade reading level. For our patients in East LA to take advantage of these new tools they needed instructions that were geared to simpler 5th grade English or Spanish reading level.

 

With the help of a grant from the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust and advice from our patient and community advisors, we were able to develop a series of simple language guides that introduced the basics of how insulin pens and pump work and described how they could improve their diabetes treatment. A second series of books provided non-branded instructions on the details of using an insulin pump.

 

To help lower the language barrier, the guides are written in a question and answer conversation format between patients and diabetes care team providers and used over 100 illustrations to break up the text. This series of guidebooks were recently recognized by the American Diabetes Association and will be distributed in their 78th Scientific Session Abstract Book as the supplement to the journal Diabetes.

 

To help lower the language barrier, the guides are written in a question and answer conversation format between patients and diabetes care team providers and used over 100 illustrations to break up the text. This series of guidebooks were recently recognized by the American Diabetes Association and were distributed in their 78th Scientific Session Abstract Book as the supplement to the journal Diabetes.

 

With future funding, we hope to add a guide about CGM, updates guides as new devices and technology are developed and create pediatric friendly versions of all guides.

 

While working with our patient and community advisors, it soon became clear that there also was a need to provide better basic type 1 diabetes care education. So, a “How Can I Manage My Type 1 Diabetes Better?” was created to give nutrition education on carb counting reading nutrition labels. Introductions on the skills on using insulin to carb ratios and insulin correction factors was also provided with tips on how to prevent lows and high glucose numbers.

 

All of the guides are free to use by any individual or organization to promote diabetes education and educate patients on the use of insulin pens and pumps.

 

The PDF versions are all open-source and freely available by clicking on the links below. They can either be printed or hosted on a website for distribution to a wider audience.

 

• How Can I Manage My Type 1 Diabetes Better?

• ¿Cómo puedo controlar mejor mi diabetes tipo 1?

 

• Is the Insulin Pen Right for Me?

• ¿La pluma de insulina es adecuada para mí?

 

• Is the Insulin Pump Right for Me?

• ¿La bomba de insulina es adecuada para mí?

 

• How Do I Use an Insulin Pump?

• ¿Cómo se usa la bomba de insulina?

 

Simple Language Guides for Insulin Pumps and Pens