DescriptionThe interactive educational software program called dbaza's Diabetes Education for Kids CD-ROM was developed with support from the National Institute of Health and received "Favorably Reviewed" status from the American Association of Diabetes Educators. The software was designed for young children age 6-12 years as an introduction to the basic principles of diabetes care and the fundamental skills necessary for self-management (e.g., it shows how to do home blood glucose monitoring and illustrates how to do a finger stick). The CD-ROM presents an age-appropriate story line, using an animated cartoon character to engage the user in the learning process, and provides opportunities to apply the information in an interactive format.
The software program has a customization and an introductory section and five chapters that provide explanation of diabetes concepts. In the customization and introductory section, the user creates a character that will represent him/her in the story and meets Piper, a storybook character who needs help. To help Piper, the user has to learn the basic principles of diabetes care and undertake a series of challenges. Importantly, each chapter includes interactive exercises, quizzes, and practices of diabetes-related skills. For example, after instructions are presented on how to test blood glucose level, the child is given an opportunity to control action on the screen that show the steps of blood glucose testing. As part of the CD-ROM, the user also creates pages of a book after each topical chapter, based on what was learned. The book then can be printed out providing a personalized reference.
Chapter 1 focuses on blood glucose testing and basic diabetes information, including the steps involved in blood sugar testing, symptoms of hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia and corrective steps, and basic pathophysiology. Chapter 2 presents information on insulin, including site rotation, insulin injection preparation and administration, and insulin action profiles. Chapter 3 covers the different aspects of meal planning, including the diabetes food pyramid, information on carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, and methods of meal planning. Chapter 4 addresses heavy and light exercise and their effect on blood glucose levels, the importance of snacking when exercising to avoid hypoglycemia, and planned versus unplanned exercise. Chapter 5 covers the interrelationship among insulin, diet, exercise, and blood glucose levels. It contains a comprehensive review of the material covered in previous chapters, as well as interactive quizzes and practice exercises that reinforce the concepts learned in previous chapters.
The user-friendly features of the CD-ROM include a comprehensive dictionary of diabetes-related terms, flexible navigation to educational material in any chapter, ability to replay any part of the chapter's material, and ability to stop the program and continue at a later point. Also, the program keeps track of the user's activities though the CD-ROM, recording the number of correct and incorrect answers, which can be printed out for a later review. The CD-ROM takes approximately one and a half hours to complete.
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