Background: Psychosocial factors are important for patients with chronic diseases such as type 1 diabetes. Lack of social network and poor social support are risk factors that affect morbidity. Little is known about social network and social integration of families with children with type 1 diabetes.
Objective and hypotheses: Aim was to explore the social network of families with young children with type 1 diabetes and to examine associations between indices of social network and integration, socioeconomic status, and glycaemic control.
Method: Families with children aged less than 12 years with type 1 diabetes were included in the cross-sectional study. Clinical data and HbA1c levels were collected. Self-report questionnaires were used to assess socioeconomic status. Interviews using the Multidimensional Social Contact Circle-Questionnaire were performed for exploration of social network. Social net size and integration index were calculated. Statistical analysis including regression analysis was performed.
Results: A total of 83 families with children with type 1 diabetes (mean age 8.9±2.4 years, mean diabetes duration 5.2±2.7 years, mean HbA1c 7.8±0.8%) participated in the study. High socioeconomic status was significantly associated with better glycaemic control compared to moderate and low socioeconomic status (HbA1c 7.5±0.7% vs 7.9±0.7% and 8.0±0.8%; P=0.008). The caregivers reported a total size of their social net of 12.4±7.4 persons in on average 4 out of 7 potential areas. No significant correlations were seen between social net size and HbA1c. Higher socioeconomic status was associated with higher integration index (P=0.018). Low integration index was associated with poor glycaemic control (P=0.03). Regression analysis identified longer diabetes duration and low socioeconomic status as risk factors for poor glycaemic control.
Conclusion: This study describes the social network and social integration of families with young children with type 1 diabetes. Diabetes duration and socioeconomic status were significant risk factors for glycaemic control.
10 - 12 Sep 2016
European Society for Paediatric Endocrinology