Background

Little is known about the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic’s psychological effects on caregivers of children with type 1 diabetes.

Objective

This study aimed to investigate the experience of caregivers of youth with type 1 diabetes during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Methods

A 49-item questionnaire using a 5-point Likert scale and open-response questions was distributed via e-mail and type1 diabetes–related social media platforms from 4 May to 2 2 June 2020. Quantitative data were analyzed using SPSS v.25 statistical software. Descriptive statistics were used. Relationships were compared using Pearson correlation. Qualitative data were coded and categorized.

Results

A total of 272 caregivers participated (mean ± SD respondent age 42.1 ± 7.8 years; 94.5% females; 81.3% with college degree or higher; 52.6% with annual income >$99,000; 80.1% with private insurance). The mean ± SD age of caregivers’ children with type 1 diabetes was 11.0 ± 4.1 years, and their mean ± SD diabetes duration was 4.2 ± 3.5 years. Participants reported being diagnosed with or knowing someone with COVID-19 (24.6%), increased stress (71.9%), job loss (10.3%), and financial difficulty (26.8%) as a result of the pandemic. General self-efficacy scores were high (mean ± SD 16.2 ± 2.6, range 8–20) and significantly correlated with COVID-19–related self-efficacy (mean ± SD 12.6 ± 2.1; R = 0.394, P <0.001) and type 1 diabetes self-efficacy during COVID-19 (mean ± SD 17.1 ± 2.5; R = 0.421, P <0.001).

Conclusion

Despite reporting high overall self-efficacy, caregivers of children with type 1 diabetes reported greater overall stress and challenges during the pandemic. Health care providers should be prepared to provide families with specific social and mental health support.

This article contains supplementary material online at https://doi.org/10.2337/figshare.19204037

This article is part of a special article collection available at https://diabetesjournals.org/journals/collection/52/Diabetes-and-COVID-19

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