Parents Struggle with Child's Diabetes Diagnosis
A diagnosis of type 1 diabetes often sends parents on anemotional roller coaster and requires months of adjustment,indicated the results of a study reported in the Journal ofAdvanced Nursing (May 2005). United Kingdom researchersevaluated 40 interviews with parents of newly diagnosed childrenwith type 1 diabetes. They learned that parents were notprepared for the diagnosis because they believed that their children'sinitial symptoms were caused by curable ailments.
"Suddenly normal childhood routines are replaced withinsulin injections, blood glucose monitoring, regular mealtimes,and increased vigilance,"said lead investigator Lesley Lowes,PhD, MSc. She also noted that parents raised concerns aboutthe long-term effects of the disease. Dr. Lowes suggested thatparents of a child with diabetes ask health care professionals"as many questions as they need,"and reach out to other parentsof children with the disease for support and empathy.
The researchers concluded that a majority of the parentsaccepted the diagnosis within 4 months and adapted to thechanges. At 12 months, all the parents had adjusted, seeing thechanges as part of their "everyday lives."