SugarBlues or Happinezz?

Websurvey on the prevalence of depressive symptoms in teens with diabetes

Period: 2008-2009 
Funding: Dutch Diabetes Research Foundation
Research Institute: EMGO
Contact: Dr. M. de Wit

Websurvey on the prevalence of depressive symptoms and (un)met mental health needs of youth with diabetes 
BACKGROUND: Among youth with type 1 diabetes depressive symptoms have been found to be common, negatively impacting relationships, school performance and quality of life (QoL) and associated with recurrent hospitalizations and poor metabolic control. Screening for and treatment of depression in youth with diabetes has been advocated (16, 17), yet depression appears often to be missed and under treated. The extent to which depression is under recognized and under treated in youth with diabetes is unknown. 
AIM: With this study we aimed to study rates of depressive symptoms and (un)met mental health needs in Dutch youth with type 1 diabetes.
METHODS: The study was conducted in collaboration with the Dutch Society of Pediatricians and Dutch Working group of Pediatric Diabetes Nurses. Letters were e-mailed or handed out by care providers in outpatient clinics to youth with type 1 diabetes (9-19 years) with information on the survey they were invited to complete on the internet. The site was advertised as a survey on well-being ("SugarbluesorHappinezz.nl). The survey consisted of questions about demographic and diabetes related variables, the Children's Depression Survey (CDI), items of the DQOL-Youth and questions about received or wished psychological care. 
Data have been analyzed and a paper has been submitted for publication. 


E-coach for parents of teens with diabetes

Period: 2009-2011 
Funding: Dutch Diabetes Research Foundation
Research Institute: EMGO
Contact: Dr. M. de Wit

E-coach for parents of teens with diabetes 
BACKGROUND: Family functioning is important for the well-being and diabetes regulation of adolescents with type 1 diabetes. The relation between family atmosphere and glycemic control is complex. Adolescents' problems with the self management could easily initiate conflicts, but teenagers from non-supportive families are more at risk for regulation problems. If and how parents provide support proves to be a strong predictor of glycemic control as well as the quality of life of teenagers. Dealing with a teenager with diabetes in an appropriate way is often not easy and can put pressure on the family and the well-being of the parents. 
AIM: Our aim is to develop an internet course for parents of teenagers with diabetes, the e-coach. This course will provide information and support on parenting by paying attention to the relationship with the teenager, partner and other family members. This study is funded by the Dutch Diabetes Research Foundation

METHODS: The study consists of three phases.
Phase 1 (Jan 2009 - Jan 2010) consisted of a survey, focussing on topics of conflict, support from parents and communication patterns. Parents completed questionnaires on the internet: Diabetes Family Conflict and Responsibility Scale, Diabetes Family Behaviour Checklist, WHO-5, Parenting Styles and the Pediatric Inventory for Parents. A selection of parents was asked to participate in focus groups to examine the found topics more thoroughly and help to determine what should be included in the course.
In the second phase (Jan 2010 - Sept 2010), the requirements for the e-coach will be put together and a prototype will be developed and tested. The content of self-help course will be derived from the survey and focus groups and consultation of experts. The e-coach will provide information on different themes, such as: diabetes and puberty, fear and worries, shared responsibility and involvement in the diabetes treatment, parenting styles, communication, school and diabetes in the family. The e-coach will consist of modules, giving the parents the opportunity to take relevant modules. The e-coach will offer exercises and advices on the different themes. 
In the third phase (Sept 2010 - Dec 2010), the e-coach will be made available for all parents on a website. Parents who visit the website will be asked about their profile and their opinion about the website.