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Research Project: Childhood Obesity Prevention

Location: Children's Nutrition Research Center

Title: Characterizing diabetes burnout in parents of youth with type 1 diabetes (T1D)

Author
item Eshtehardi, Sahar - Baylor College Of Medicine
item Cao, Viena - Baylor College Of Medicine
item Anderson, Barbara - Baylor College Of Medicine
item Mckinney, Brett - Indiana University Medical School
item Marrero, David - University Of Arizona
item Thompson, Deborah - Debbe
item Hilliard, Marisa - Baylor College Of Medicine

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/28/2017
Publication Date: 10/18/2017
Citation: Eshtehardi, S.S., Cao, V.T., Anderson, B.J., Mckinney, B.M., Marrero, D.G., Thompson, D.J., Hilliard, M.E. 2017. Characterizing diabetes burnout in parents of youth with type 1 diabetes (T1D) [abstract]. 43rd Annual Conference of the International Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Diabetes. October 18-21, 2017, Innsbruck, Austria. Oral Session O02.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Managing type 1 diabetes (T1D) is complex and requires round-the-clock attention, much of which falls to parents. Parental stress and family conflict about diabetes are associated with suboptimal youth self-management and glycemic outcomes, yet little research has described parents' experiences with burnout or tested distress-reduction interventions for parents. A nuanced understanding of parents' feelings about T1D burnout may inform interventions to offer support, enhance parental quality of life, and potentially impact youth outcomes. This study aimed to characterize diabetes burnout in parents of youth with T1D. As part of a larger qualitative study on diabetes-related quality of life, 21 parents (90% female; 38% Caucasian) of youth (age 4-17) with T1D answered semi-structured interview questions, including questions about their feelings around T1D management demands. Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed, and coded to derive central themes. Parents described: (1) worries about their children experiencing burnout due to the substantial daily demands of T1D management; (2) burnout related to their own physical and emotional exhaustion from juggling T1D care with other domains of life; and (3) a negative impact of their burnout on family relationships, including frequent arguments and lack of time to strengthen these relationships. Parents of youth with T1D often struggle with diabetes burnout, which may affect many domains of their lives and impact their children and family relationships. Screening for and acknowledging parental burnout as part of routine T1D care may help support effective family T1D management. For some parents, referrals to mental health providers familiar with parenting a child with a demanding chronic illness may be useful to manage diabetes burnout and improve quality of life, which may ultimately impact youths' diabetes outcomes.