Introduction: The anxiety for hypoglycemia is a major stress factor for parents of children with T1DM and has been associated with poor diabetic control, reduced insulin doses and school-age children.
Purpose: To determine the frequency and severity of parental anxiety for hypoglycemia and the associated factors.
Patients and methods: The study included parents [21 (23.9%) fathers and 67 (76.1%) mothers] of 88 T1DM patients, with a mean±S.D. age of 12.63±3.58 years and disease duration of 4.56±3.63 years. Questionnaires HFS-P Worry (anxiety scale) and HFS-P Behavior scale were used and analyzed by single-factor analysis.
Results: From the parents of T1DM children, 21.6% frequently experienced and 26.1% almost always experienced anxiety for hypoglycemia. Parental anxiety for hypoglycemia showed a linear correlation with the presence of specific behaviors to avoid it (P=0.421, P<0.001). Anxiety for hypoglycemia mainly occurred in parents aged between 26-35 years (P<0.036) and mothers with the lowest educational level (P <0.039). The use of insulin pump (P<0.034), younger patients age (P<0.001) and early diabetes diagnosis (P=0.007) was associated with a higher rate of specific behaviors to treat hypoglycemia. Parental anxiety for hypoglycemia was marginally non-significantly associated with poor glycemic control (HbA1c>8%) (P=0.074).
Conclusions: Parents of T1DM children have anxiety for hypoglycemia in a significant percentage (26.1%). Anxiety for hypoglycemia is mainly experienced by the parents of younger children, with a young age at diagnosis, with low maternal education and the use of insulin pump. Parental anxiety of hypoglycemia does not appear to significantly affect the quality of glycemic control.
27 - 29 Sep 2018
European Society for Paediatric Endocrinology