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