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Perception of peer support by teenagers aged 12-16 years with Type 1 Diabetes

Lowes, Lesley Madeline ORCID:, Eaton, Nicola, Bill, Sian and Ford, Louise 2007. Perception of peer support by teenagers aged 12-16 years with Type 1 Diabetes. Practical Diabetes International 24 (7) , pp. 351-355. 10.1002/pdi.1143

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Teenagers with diabetes have to cope with the demands of managing the condition within their social context at a time of rapid physical and psychosocial development. As teenagers actively seek independence from parents, they place greater importance on relationships with friends. Friends of teenagers with diabetes have an important supportive role and can influence how diabetes is managed. In this study, qualitative interviews were used to collect data from teenagers with type 1 diabetes from Wales (n = 13) and England (n = 8) recruited via the media. Study aims were to elicit teenagers' perception of the support of friends in managing their diabetes and to produce a diabetes information leaflet for friends. Consistent with other studies, these teenagers would tell close friends they have diabetes. ‘Best’ friends were usually supportive, looking out for ‘hypos’ and encouraging blood glucose monitoring and insulin administration. However, misunderstandings about diabetes sometimes ‘hurt’, including misconceptions about the differences between type 1 and type 2 diabetes, particularly concerning aetiology and a wrongly assumed link between obesity and development of type 1 diabetes. All the teenagers believed it would be helpful for friends to have a diabetes information leaflet in age appropriate language. Increasing emphasis is placed on the involvement of service users in research and service and policy development. Consequently, although interview data informed the content, the teenagers designed and developed the leaflet, which has subsequently been adopted by the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation for UK-wide distribution.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Healthcare Sciences
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
R Medicine > RT Nursing
Uncontrolled Keywords: Teenagers ; Type 1 diabetes ; Peer support ; Information needs
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN: 1357-8170
Last Modified: 14 Dec 2022 02:18

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