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Diabetes-Oriented Learning Family Intervention (DOLFIN): a feasibility study evaluating an intervention for carers of young persons with Type 1 diabetes

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Abstract

Aims

To describe the development of an intervention for parents and carers of young people with Type 1 diabetes and assess the feasibility, acceptability and emerging clinical themes.

Methods

Participants were carers of young persons aged 10–18 years with a diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes of more than 12 months' duration in two inner-city South London hospitals. Carers were invited to attend six sessions of a group workshop where they received emotional support, diabetes education and were taught motivational interviewing techniques to support their child.

Results

Out of 106 eligible participants, carers of 31 young people with Type 1 diabetes were recruited, 17 of whom ‘completed’ the intervention (attending four or more sessions). Participants discussed a variety of themes in session, including the increasing difficulty of diabetes management as children grow older, parenting techniques for managing diabetes in the home and the emotional challenges of having a child with a chronic illness.

Conclusions

Engaging parents in a carer intervention for Type 1 diabetes was a challenge, but parents who participated appeared to value the programme. Future interventions for carers need to take account of carers' wishes and expectations in order to maximize user uptake.

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