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Pediatr Diabetes. 2019 Jun 7. doi: 10.1111/pedi.12873. [Epub ahead of print]

Psychological support for adolescents with type 1 diabetes provided by adolescents with type 1 diabetes: The chat line experience.

Author information

1
Department of Psychology, University of Campania "Luigi Vanvitelli", Caserta, Italy.
2
Department of the Woman, of the Child and of the General and Specialized Surgery, University of Campania "Luigi Vanvitelli", Naples, Italy.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Age-specific preventive interventions by exploiting age-appropriate means are needed to effectively support adolescents with type 1 diabetes in facing illness and developmental-related difficulties. The provision of social support through a content analysis of messages posted on online conversations was examined.

METHODS:

Participants and moderators' messages posted to an Italian online chat group for adolescents with type 1 diabetes were content analyzed using a social support behavior coding system.

RESULTS:

Of 250 adolescents approached (aged 12-18), 161 (64.4%) agreed to participate. 17,025 individual posts (10,735 written by participants, 6,290 by moderators) from 37 chat sessions were examined. Topics concerned management of the disease, diabetes-related problems, nutrition, and the emotional impact of diabetes. Social support was found in 30.64% of the messages (N=5,215). The frequency of supporting messages posted by participants was significantly higher than those written by moderators (X2 =20.025, p<.0001). Participants most frequently offered emotional (79.97%) and information support (16.21%), while moderators presented information (52.89%) and emotional support (34.56%).

CONCLUSIONS:

How posting messages in an online group provides an opportunity for adolescents with type 1 diabetes to support each other and help health professionals to learn about the experiences of young individuals is discussed. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

KEYWORDS:

adolescents; chat group; online conversation; psychological support; type 1 diabetes

PMID:
31173661
DOI:
10.1111/pedi.12873

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