Social and family support in diabetes predicts self-efficacy, adherence, and positive health outcomes. Peer and family support are explicit strengths of youth possessing resilience to flourish despite challenges of diabetes. Interest in strength-based assessment and interventions in pediatric diabetes practices is increasing in recognition that youth spend significant time away from home and management responsibilities shift away from parents. Nearly 150 diabetes camps reach 25,000 children annually. Camps demonstrate improved self-efficacy and self-confidence. We examined whether youth attending a sports-based day camp exhibit resilience factors that can impact diabetes-related distress levels related to participating in exercise. With parent consent, 44 youth (8-17 year) completed the Diabetes Strengths and Resilience Measure (DSTAR) the first day of camp. Factors related to diabetes confidence and management skewed high with scores of often or almost always for most of the 12- item survey. Mean parental help/support with diabetes was high at 3.6 (of 4) as 90% of youth identified they often/almost always get parental help. Friend support was the lowest scoring factor with mean of 2.6 for youth telling friends about diabetes. Often or almost always was chosen by 50% of youth, 32% sometimes, and 18% never. Counting on friends if I need help scored lowest (mean 2.1) as 35% chose never/rarely, 21% sometime, and 44% often/almost always. Parent surveys indicated 100% of children are physically active 1 hour/day nearly every day (70% 5-7 days/week, 30% 2-4 days/week). Hypoglycemia frequency was 5.5/month (44% >9).

In conclusion, youth with type 1 diabetes who are physically active and at risk for frequent hypoglycemia do not share their diabetes needs with friends and rarely feel they can count on friends to help them (such as recognizing/treating exercise related hypoglycemia). Camps are non-clinical venues to assess social support and intervene with non-traditional age-appropriate education.


C.A. Beebe: Consultant; Self; Xeris Pharmaceuticals, Inc. M.T. Joyce: None. T. Alesia: None.

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