Teens Relations and Type 1 Diabetes Management

A recent study suggests that young people with type 1 diabetes can manage stress and endurance of a disease by how well they relate to their peers. Peer helps each other to accept the condition of their disease and to follow up on the treatment plans. However, the attitude towards how their colleagues think about them can make them fail to follow the disease management plan, reports Diabetes Care.

The author Koen Raymaekers was one of the first to ask the other residents about the emerging issue of type 1 diabetes. It is also the first research to inquire about the relations between individuals with type 1 diabetes at certain points in their lives.

How Did The Researchers Come Up with This Conclusion?

The researchers used about 400 Dutch speaking youths in Belgium. These participants were aged between 14 and 25 years and had type 1 diabetes. All these participants answered a questionnaire about how they felt about the help they got from their peers. They also answered questions about their perceptions of their parents in relation to the condition they had and the responsiveness to their needs.

The researchers also evaluated whether the participants were more likely to listen to their peers or to their parents. The researchers also had access to long-time measurements on blood sugar of the participants. The participants answered questions about how they adhered to the treatment they were receiving as well as questions about diabetic-related distress levels.

What Were the Research Findings?

The researchers found that where there was a positive relationship among teens contributed to less diabetic-specific distress. Those involved in the research were observed to have started with bad blood sugar control but earlier later they seemed to have improved because they were oriented towards their peers.

Having supportive peers translated to less diabetes distress issue over time. On the other hand, having extreme peer orientation was linked to greater treatment distress as well as poorer blood sugar control.

A good treatment adherence was linked to lower peer orientation scores, better sugar control and less treatment distress.

Young people who were said to have more responsive parents had a tendency to have less food distress over time.

How Good Peers Relation Lowers Diabetes Distress

The author Raymaekers indicated that it is vital for caregivers, parents or grandparents to ask about the peer relations of the parents.

Some of the young people can see like the disease is a burden to them. This can make them stop interacting with their peers. They can also abandon their treatment in the favor of fitting in with their peers.

To rectify this issue, parents and caregivers who have BLS certification are advised to find ways to rectify this situation by finding means to deal with the problematic relation of the patients with the peers. This should be done in a manner that will not sacrifice the treatment procedure or feel stressed by their situation.

The researchers also added that good peer relations are important for patients with type 1 diabetes. There were more striking finding like, for example, for patients aged 18 -24 years were more oriented towards peers had worse blood sugar control one year later.