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Health  2018 

The Health and Well-Being among Children with Diabetes and Low HbA1c—A Qualitative Study in Sweden

DOI: 10.4236/health.2018.105044, PP. 551-564

Keywords: Diabetes, Children, Health, Well-Being, Low HbA1c, Qualitative Study

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Abstract:

Aims and objectives: To examine health and well-being, as well as the need for support among children and parents where the child has T1DM with low HbA1c (<52 mmol/mole). The purpose was also to investigate the extent to which children’s and parents’ experiences match. Introduction: Studies have shown that children with diabetes type 1 (T1DM) rate their lives as worse than healthy peer ratings. In Sweden, views have been expressed that children, as well as their parents, feel pressurized by the diabetes teams to achieve low HbA1c values, which can lead to poorer mental health for the family. Design: A qualitative study. Methods: A consecutive sample of 11 children and their parents (one father, ten mothers) was interviewed together but individually guided by a semi structured interview guide. Interviews were analyzed using thematic content analysis. Results: Four main categories were consistent across children and their parents; 1) attitude to the illness, 2) sadness about diabetes, 3) the importance of the social network, and 4) the importance of the diabetes team. Worries about hyperglycemia were more prominent than worries about hypoglycemia in both children and parents. A distinguishing feature of the interviewed children was that they were responsible, strict and targeted. Many of them were competitive and took part in various sports, even at a very advanced level. Conclusions: This study shows that children with low HbA1c values experience good health and good well-being. Family support, good planning, and high acceptance of their illness contributed to this.

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