Current Content
Volume 38 - Number 6
November - December 2012

Parental Self-Efficacy and Online Support Among Parents of Children Diagnosed With Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus
Rachel M. Merkel, Tracy Wright

Families faced with the challenges of caring for a child newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes mellitus are often overwhelmed by the regimented demands of diabetes care management. Social support for families has been recognized as an important component to adaptation and has been deemed necessary for helping families develop healthy coping strategies. The purpose of this evidence-based practice (EBP) project was to develop a Web-based platform to enhance social support and increase self-efficacy of parents with a child with type 1 diabetes. The following clinical question guided the project: “Among parents of children diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in a small Midwestern city, what are parents’ selfreported self-efficacy scores related to diabetic care management pre- and postimplementation of a Web-based social support platform?” A one-group pretest/ post-test descriptive design was used, with parental self-efficacy measured pre- and post-intervention (Web-based platform access) using the Diabetes Empowerment Scale (DES) and Self-Efficacy for Diabetes Scale (SED), and parent satisfaction with the online support platform assessed through parental comments. Project outcomes corroborated the use of online social support as evidenced by improvement in parental self-efficacy scores in both the DES and SED survey measurements. A statistically significant increase (p < 0.05) was found between the pre- and post-implementation scores of the SED survey. Secondary data supported the positive relationship of social support and self-efficacy in raising a child with type 1 diabetes. This online social support platform was found to be an easily adaptable, cost-effective, and innovative means of networking and information sharing among families facing similar challenges in raising a child with type 1 diabetes.