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Fear of Hypoglycemia, Parenting Stress, and Metabolic Control for Children with Type 1 Diabetes and Their Parents

Abstract

This study sets out to extend current knowledge of parenting stress and fear of hypoglycemia (FoH) in parents of children with type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM). We examined if the relationship between parental and children’s FoH and metabolic control, as reflected by HbA1c, is mediated by parenting stress. A total of 63 parents and children with T1DM were recruited during their routine physician’s appointment. Parents completed questionnaires on parenting stress and FoH. Children eight years and older also completed a questionnaire on FoH. HbA1c values were obtained from all children. Mediation analysis revealed an indirect association between parental FoH and HbA1c values through parenting stress (Sobel’s z = 2.42, p = .02), but no indirect association between children’s FoH and HbA1c. We concluded that parental FOH has an indirect association with the child’s metabolic control that is mediated by parenting stress. More simply, fear of hypoglycemia predicts parent stress, which in turn, predicts metabolic control.

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Acknowledgements

We would like to express our appreciation to the children and parents who participated in this study. Furthermore, we would like to thank the whole team of the Childhood Diabetes Centre for their assistance.

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Correspondence to Ann-Sofie Viaene.

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Ann-Sofie Viaene, Tom Van Daele, Dries Bleys, Kelly Faust, and Guy G. Massa declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the ethics committee of the Jessa Ziekenhuis facility and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration, as revised in 2000. Informed consent was obtained from all patients for being included in the study.

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Viaene, AS., Van Daele, T., Bleys, D. et al. Fear of Hypoglycemia, Parenting Stress, and Metabolic Control for Children with Type 1 Diabetes and Their Parents. J Clin Psychol Med Settings 24, 74–81 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10880-017-9489-8

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10880-017-9489-8

Keywords

  • Fear of hypoglycemia
  • Parenting stress
  • Metabolic control
  • Type 1 diabetes mellitus