Continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) can improve glycemic outcomes in pediatric type 1 diabetes management. However, its impact on the psychosocial functioning of caregivers is less well described. The objectives of this pilot study were to explore caregiver reasons for adding CGM to their child’s type 1 diabetes management, parental psychosocial function before initiating CGM, and the relationship between the two.
Thirty-two families with a child with type 1 diabetes from Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital diabetes clinics who were initiating CGM were recruited over 3 months. Before CGM initiation, the caregivers completed the Fear of Hypoglycemia Scale, State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, Problem Areas in Diabetes Scale, and a questionnaire assessing their primary reason for starting CGM. Participant characteristics and questionnaire results were summarized with descriptive statistics. Participants were grouped by reason for starting CGM, and results were compared among groups using ANOVA and reporting the global F test.
Fifty percent of respondents indicated that they were starting CGM to optimize glycemic control. The majority of parents (71.8%) expressed worry about helplessness during a hypoglycemic episode. There were no statistically significant differences in patient characteristics or questionnaire results between groups. Forty-three percent of participating families started using CGM during the study’s 8-month follow-up period. The main reason (64%) for not starting CGM was not having the chance to start the process of obtaining a CGM system. There were no statistically significant differences between children who did and did not start CGM.
Caregivers have different reasons for starting CGM for their child with type 1 diabetes. Further studies are needed to understand whether these reasons are related to differences in psychosocial functioning. Despite interest in starting CGM, there remain barriers to implementation.