The Hypoglycemia Fear Survey-Parent (HFS-P) is the most commonly used questionnaire to assess parental worries and behaviors about low blood glucoses occurring in their children with T1D. The purpose of this study was to provide descriptive statistics on the HFS-P’s three subscales using a large clinical sample of fathers, data that are notably absent from the extant literature. As part of their child’s routine T1D clinic visits, 302 fathers completed the HFS-P, which comprises three subscales: Maintaining High Blood Glucose (BG), Worry/Helplessness About Low BG, and Worry About Negative Social Consequences. Higher scores indicate greater fear/worry about hypoglycemia. Child demographic and medical variables were extracted from medical records. Child characteristics were: 43% female; mean age = 15.1±3.3 yrs (range 10-22); mean A1C = 8.7±1.9%. Fathers’ were more likely to engage in maintaining high BG behaviors with younger children (r=-0.17, p<0.01). Fathers’ mean Maintaining High BG scores were significantly higher in 10-12 year olds (4.1±2.5) then in 13-17 year olds (3.4±2.6) and 18-22 years olds (3.2±2.6; F=3.01; p<0.05). There were no differences in mean Worry/Helplessness About Low BG or Worry About Negative Social Consequences scores by age group (ps=0.14 and 0.68, respectively). None of the three subscales was significantly correlated with glycemic control (ps>0.15). This is the first study to provide normative data for the three subscales comprising the HFS-P derived from a large clinical sample as all other studies have used research samples. Clinicians using the HFS-P to monitor worries and behaviors associated with hypoglycemia can use these data to assess fathers’ progress. These data also support other studies showing that glycemic control and fear of hypoglycemia are not related; although findings are generally mixed. This study adds to a growing body of literature on the importance of assessing fear of hypoglycemia in parents of children with T1D.
D.J. Amburgey: None. H. ODonnell: None. T. Gomer: None. T. Reznick-Lipina: None. S. Majidi: Advisory Panel; Self; Companion Medical. K.A. Driscoll: None.
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (7K23DK091558-05)