The Experience of Families Living with a Child with Type I Diabetes
The goal of aggressive treatment for type 1 diabetes mellitus is the prevention of chronic neuropathic complications that are most notably related to metabolic alterations of hyperglycemia. The purpose of this thesis is to develop a deep understanding of the lived experience among children and their families with type 1 diabetes in relation to care and knowledge of diabetic neuropathy. This is a qualitative study, based on phenomenological research, which describes experiences as they are lived. The study consisted of three families; each with a child diagnosed with type 1 diabetes for more than one year and one individual who developed type 1 later in life. The participants of the study described living with diabetes as affecting all aspects of life from activities, meal times, daily routines, and food provided in the home. Many of the families felt isolated and abandoned in maintaining care for their child with diabetes by healthcare providers; furthermore, knowledge related to complications was reflective of fear rather than understanding and prevention. Nursing implications for this study include increased support and education about acute and chronic complications of diabetes as well as access to new medications and care practice for families.