Current Content
Volume 34, Number 4
July/August 2008

Children’s Views of Their Adaptation to Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus
Kim Siarkowski Amer

When a family learns their child has insulin-dependent type 1 diabetes mellitus, or type 1 diabetes, shock and anxiety are quickly followed by the reality of the demands of managing the condition. Demands include injections or continuous insulin infusion, blood glucose monitoring 2 to 4 times a day, regimented meal planning, and intensive planning of daily activities. Like many chronic illnesses, type 1 diabetes can have long- term effects on the child and family. Health providers must offer support in a number of ways. To determine the best way to approach children with diabetes mellitus, this study examined children’s perceptions of their adaptation to type 1 diabetes. Recognizing children’s own perceptions is critical for long-term understanding and management. The children in this study had overall positive self-perceptions and good attitudes toward illness. Even though many adults perceive diabetes mellitus in children as an overwhelming experience, the children’s attitudes in this study were very positive.