BACKGROUND - Although it is recognized that caring for a child with Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is stressful for parents, few interventions have been developed and tested for this population.
OBJECTIVES - The aim of this study was to compare a group educational intervention for parents of children with T1D to a coping skills training intervention.
METHODS - Parents of children with T1D were randomized to the group educational (n = 106) or coping skills training (n = 75) conditions. Parents completed measures of family conflict, responsibility for treatment, coping, and quality of life at baseline and at 3, 6, and 12 months postintervention. Clinical data (i.e., HbA1c) were collected from children's medical records preintervention and postintervention.
RESULTS - There were no significant treatment effects 12 months postintervention, but parents in both groups reported improved coping (p < .001), less responsibility for treatment management (p < .001), and improved quality of life (p = .005). While children's metabolic control worsened over time, mean values at 12 months were still within the recommended levels in this well-controlled sample (HbA1c <8%).
DISCUSSION - Group-based interventions for parents of children with T1D may lessen the impact of treatment management, improving coping and quality of life.