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Parents' experience of having a child diagnosed with type 1 diabetes [Abstract]

Lowes, Lesley Madeline 2005. Parents' experience of having a child diagnosed with type 1 diabetes [Abstract]. Pediatric Diabetes 6 (S3) , p. 64. 10.1111/j.1399-5448.2005.00125_4.x

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Introduction: Having a child diagnosed with type 1 diabetes is believed to be an anxious and distressing time but little is known about the peri-diagnostic period from the parents’ perspective. This paper comprises the first stage of a longitudinal qualitative study exploring the experience of parents of newly diagnosed children. Aim: To increase understanding about parents’ response, coping and adaptation to a diagnosis of childhood diabetes from their perspective. Methodology: Nineteen parents of ten children, who were clinically well (blood pH > 7.30) at presentation and managed at home, participated in in-depth interviews within ten days of their child’s diagnosis at a hospital in Wales. Interviews were transcribed verbatim, and data systematically coded into categories that emerged from parents’ accounts. Results: Following a gradual realisation that something was wrong with their child, parents were devastated by the diagnosis. Their anxiety was exacerbated by the speed of diagnosis and commencement of treatment. Parents experienced an intense sadness about the diagnosis, which represented a number of losses. They coped initially by focusing on the practical skills and gaining knowledge about diabetes. A fear of hypoglycemia dominated their thoughts and affected many aspects of their life. They experienced a loss of spontaneity but established new routines to accommodate their child’s needs. Professional support was important to parental coping, particularly accessibility to advice via an on-call phone. Conclusion: Parents’ response to a diagnosis of childhood diabetes corresponds to the grief reaction normally associated with bereavement. Parents need reassurance about the speed of diagnosis, to be kept informed throughout the diagnostic process and have access to advice and support out of office hours. Findings from this study can help health professionals to better support parents of newly diagnosed children.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Healthcare Sciences
Subjects: R Medicine > RJ Pediatrics
R Medicine > RT Nursing
Additional Information: poster presentation
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN: 1399-543X
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 02:34

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