Aim: Management of type 1 diabetes in children is a complex process. Active participation of the child and family in diabetes care is essential for achieving good glycaemic control. A good parental understanding of diabetes and its management would be considered a prerequisite for their involvement in the care of their childrens diabetes. The aim of this study was to explore the relationship between parental knowledge of diabetes self management and glycaemic control of their children.
Design: This was a questionnaire study done in the paediatric outpatient clinic. A diabetes knowledge questionnaire was used to assess the parental diabetes knowledge. HbA1c was used as an indicator of the glycaemic control of their diabetic children. Parents of children with type 1 diabetes aged between 5 years and 15 years filled the diabetes knowledge questionnaire. Data on parental education was also collected. Children who had diabetes for less than 3 years and those with co-morbidities like hypothyroidism and coeliac disease were excluded from the study. The study was done over a 3 month period in 2007.Ethics approval was obtained from the local research and ethics committee.
Results: Parents of 48 children were included in the study. No relationship between parental knowledge scores and glycaemic control was found (Spearmans correlation coefficient: −0.126). There was no relationship between parental knowledge scores and their level of education (Spearmans correlation coefficient: −0.205). Glycaemic control of the diabetic children was not related to the educational level of the parents (Spearmans Correlation coefficient: 0.097).
Conclusions: This study did not show any relationship between parental diabetes knowledge score and the glycaemic control of their children. However this does not mean that parental diabetes knowledge is not required for successful day to day management of their childrens diabetes. There are other factors like behaviour, attitudes, empowerment and family dynamics which could have considerable impact on the active participation of the child and family in the management of type 1diabetes in children. Addressing these factors in educational programmes designed for parents and children would be beneficial.
05 - 07 Nov 2008
British Society for Paediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes