Caregiver diabetes training and psychosocial support after a child’s type 1 diabetes diagnosis is critical for successful diabetes management and family quality of life. Disruption to family routines and increased stress are frequently reported after a child’s type 1 diabetes diagnosis. However, limited services exist that blend both caregiver medical training and psychosocial support. After the implementation of a 12-week, novel occupational therapy coaching telehealth intervention designed to promote rural caregiver independence with their child’s type 1 diabetes management and improve caregiver psychosocial well-being, we interviewed rural caregivers to explore their perceived quality of life. Utilizing a phenomenological design, 8 caregivers completed a semi-structured interview. Zoom interviews were recorded, transcribed verbatim, and coded using a phenomenological analysis. Caregiver ages ranged from 34-50 years, 86% were married, and all held a minimum of an associate degree. Their children were diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at 12 months to 9 years and time since diagnosis ranged from months to 8.5 years. Three distinct themes emerged related to caregivers’ experiences after diagnosis: occupational deprivation and decreased well-being; longing for connection with social supports; and desire for knowledgeable, relatable, and accessible providers. Two themes emerged related to after receipt of the telehealth coaching intervention: satisfaction with diabetes management and psychosocial support and hope for childhood normalcy. Overall, the caregivers reported satisfaction with the intervention as it provided validation of their lived experience of raising a child with diabetes in a rural community. The caregivers also reported a sense of hope that their children can successfully participate in important everyday activities, which ultimately improved the caregivers’ quality of life.
V.D.Jewell: Research Support; Dexcom, Inc. K.J.Funk: None. A.Currie: None. J.Shin: Research Support; Dexcom, Inc. E.Knezevich: Research Support; Dexcom, Inc. A.D.Valdez: None. M.Bunsness: None.
Creighton University Health Science Strategic Faculty Investment Fund