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

Whittemore R, Jaser S, Chao A, Jang M, Grey M
Diabetes Educ. 2012 38 (4): 562-79

PMID: 22581804 · PMCID: PMC3401246 · DOI:10.1177/0145721712445216

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.

MeSH Terms (20)

Adaptation, Psychological Adolescent Adult Child Child, Preschool Child Behavior Depression Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 Female Humans Infant Male Mass Screening Parent-Child Relations Parenting Parents Qualitative Research Social Support Stress, Psychological United States

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