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Title: Fear of hypoglycaemia in childhood diabetes
Author: Tah, Priya
ISNI:       0000 0004 6495 8576
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2016
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Hypoglycaemia is an unavoidable consequence of treatment of Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus (T1DM). Symptoms are often embarrassing and distressing and can lead to the development of fear of hypoglycaemia (FoH). This fear can have a negative impact on diabetes management and can lead to further medical complications. 210 children and young people (CYP), aged 3-17 years and 190 parents from diabetes paediatric clinics across the West Midlands, UK, completed questionnaires exploring the prevalence of hypoglycaemia, FoH and links to hypoglycaemia awareness, self-care, quality of life and anxiety. Demographic information and HbA1c data were also collected. Results indicated that hypoglycaemia and severe hypoglycaemia (SH) are a problem for CYP in the UK. Hypoglycaemia Fear Survey (HFS) scores were higher in parents than in CYP (Total HFS 37.1±14.9 vs. 50.2±17.8 vs. 45.2±18.0, CYP vs. mother vs. father, respectively, p < 0.01). Adolescents with prior experience of severe hypoglycaemia (SH) had higher HFS scores compared to those without (t=-3.61, p < 0.001). Trait anxiety and SH explained 23% of the variance in HFS scores in adolescents. Trait anxiety explained 37% of the variance in HFS scores in under 11 year olds, 18% in mothers of under 11 year olds, 6% in mothers of adolescent and 10% in fathers of adolescents. There was no correlation between HFS and HbA1c. Qualitative analyses identified ‘Burden’ as an overarching theme from CYP and parent interviews. ‘Negative emotions’ and ‘Living with diabetes’ emerged as the key themes of analysis. This research study adds to existing findings on the prevalence of hypoglycaemia, severe hypoglycaemia, FoH and possible related factors, by focusing on the paediatric population and their parents, in the UK, for which there is limited research. Qualitative analyses also provided novel reports of the experience of T1DM for CYP and their mothers. Implications of this research could lead to the development of an FoH and anxiety managementprogramme for CYP and their parents. The findings of this study also help to raise awareness of this very real and current issue in diabetes management.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: RJ101 Child Health. Child health services