Anxiety reported by a quarter of teens with diabetes: survey

Type 1 diabetes

23 Jul 2015

1 in 4 young adults living with type 1 diabetes report having moderate to severe anxiety, a national survey reveals.

Published by Diabetes Australia to coincide with National Diabetes Week the online survey of 781 young people aged 10 to 19 years with type 1 diabetes and 826 parents is the first of its kind to explore the well-being and quality of life of young people with diabetes and their parents. 

Result showed that 28% of young people reported impaired general emotional well-being; 25% reported moderate-to-severe depressive symptoms and 23% reported moderate-to-severe anxiety symptoms.

Depressive symptoms increased with age in both girls and boys, but the frequency and severity of depressive symptoms was markedly higher among girls than boys.

However the survey also highlighted the psychological effects living with diabetes placed on families.

A third of parents reported impaired general emotional well-being and 8% of parents experienced severe anxiety symptoms.

Worry about hypoglycaemia was a major concern for parents, particularly during the night, and 1 in 4 parents reported checking their child’s blood glucose every night after their child had gone to sleep

While the increased burden of diabetes on young people is well documented, the adverse psychological consequences for parents needs greater recognition, the report said. 

“Assessment of parents’ emotional well-being and access to psychological support is a critical component of comprehensive, paediatric diabetes care, although services are currently under-resourced to meet these needs,” it said.

For a full copy of the report click here. 

The study was conducted by researchers at the Australian Centre for Behavioural Research in Diabetes, a partnership for better health between Diabetes Victoria and Deakin University. The study was funded by the National Diabetes Services Scheme, an initiative of the Australian Government administered by Diabetes Australia

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