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COVID-19 Pandemic Effects on Caregivers of Youth With Type 1 Diabetes: Stress and Self-Efficacy

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posted on 14.03.2022, 22:51 authored by Heba M. Ismail, Breanne L. Hand, Linda A. DiMeglio, Rebecca Oyetoro, Priya Y. Soni, Janey Adams, Sarah Westen, Kimberly A. Driscoll, Anastasia Albanese-O’Neill
Background. Little is known about the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic’s psychological effects on caregivers of children with type 1 diabetes.

Objective. This study aimed to investigate the experience of caregivers of youth with type 1 diabetes during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Methods. A 49-item questionnaire using a 5-point Likert scale and open-response questions was distributed via email and type1 diabetes–related social media platforms from 4 May to 2 June 2 2020. Quantitative data were analyzed using SPSS v.25 statistical software. Descriptive statistics were used. Relationships were compared using Pearson correlation. Qualitative data were coded and categorized.

Results. A total of 272 caregivers participated (mean ± SD respondent age 42.1 ± 7.8 years; 94.5% females; 81.3% with college degree or higher; 52.6% with annual income >$99,000; 80.1% with private insurance). The mean ± SD age of caregivers’ children with type 1 diabetes was 11.0 ± 4.1 years, and their mean ± SD diabetes duration was 4.2 ± 3.5 years. Participants reported being diagnosed with or knowing someone with COVID-19 (24.6%), increased stress (71.9%), job loss (10.3%), and financial difficulty (26.8%) as a result of the pandemic. General self-efficacy scores were high (mean ± SD 16.2 ± 2.6, range 8–20) and significantly correlated with COVID-19–related self-efficacy (mean ± SD 12.6 ± 2.1; R = 0.394, P <0.001) and type 1 diabetes self-efficacy during COVID-19 (mean ± SD 17.1 ± 2.5; R = 0.421, P <0.001).

Conclusion. Despite reporting high overall self-efficacy, caregivers of children with type 1 diabetes reported greater overall stress and challenges during the pandemic. Health care providers should be prepared to provide families with specific social and mental health support.

Funding

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services > National Institutes of Health T32 DK06446

the National Institutes of Health, National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences x KL2TR002530 UL1TR002529

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