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Diabetes Educ. 2012 Jul-Aug;38(4):562-79. doi: 10.1177/0145721712445216. Epub 2012 May 11.

Psychological experience of parents of children with type 1 diabetes: a systematic mixed-studies review.

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  • 1Yale School of Nursing, New Haven, Connecticut 06536-0740, USA. robin.whittemore@yale.edu

Abstract

PURPOSE:

The purpose of this review is to describe the prevalence of psychological distress in parents of children with type 1 diabetes (T1DM), the relationship between parental psychological distress and health outcomes, and parents' psychological experience of having a child with T1DM. Clinical and research implications are presented.

METHOD:

A systematic mixed-studies review was undertaken to review the quantitative and qualitative research on the parental experience of having a child with T1DM. A total of 34 articles met the inclusion criteria and were included in the review.

RESULTS:

The prevalence of parental psychological distress across all studies ranged from 10% to 74%, with an average of 33.5% of parents reporting distress at diagnosis and 19% of parents reporting distress 1 to 4 years after diagnosis. Parental psychological distress in parents of children with T1DM, regardless of how it was defined, was associated with higher child self-report of stress and depressive symptoms, more problematic child behavior, and lower child self-report of quality of life. Parental psychological distress also had negative effects on diabetes management. Themes of the qualitative synthesis indicated that parents perceived T1DM as a difficult diagnosis that contributed to significant family disruption. Adjustment occurred over time; however, ongoing stress was experienced.

CONCLUSIONS:

Screening for psychological distress in parents of children with T1DM is indicated, and preventive interventions are needed.

PMID:
22581804
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3401246
Free PMC Article
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