Date on Paper


Document Type

Doctoral Paper

Degree Name




Committee Chair

Galloway, Lynette

Committee Member

Huntington-Moskos, Luz


Background: Learning to live with a chronic illness can be one of the most stressful times for a child and family. A new diagnosis of Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus (T1DM) consists of overwhelming amounts of education, and at the time of a new diagnosis, caregivers can experience extreme emotions, including depression and anxiety. Parent support groups have been shown to validate and alleviate parents’ emotions surrounding the diagnosis. Purpose: The purpose of this project was to initiate a support group for parents and caregivers of children diagnosed with new-onset T1DM that can be maintained and expanded in the future to increase parental perceived social support. Methods: Parents and caregivers of children with new-onset T1DM were recruited through the Wendy Novak Diabetes Center to attend a virtual support group. Participants completed the Social Support Index (SSI) tool before and after each session attended. An optional open-ended questionnaire was available to complete for quality improvement purposes. Results from the SSI were recorded and analyzed using IBM SPSS Statistics 27. Results: The Wilcoxon Signed Rank Test revealed a Z-value of -1.289 (p > .05) with a large effect size (r=.52). Mean total scores also decreased from the pre-group (M=46.83, Sd=5.115) to the post-group (M=44.33, Sd=5.820). Responses from the open-ended questionnaires were also recorded. Discussion: Although quantitative data did not show statistical significance, responses from the open-ended questionnaires were overwhelmingly positive, and supported the support group intervention. For future research, a qualitative study may provide greater insight and context related to barriers and facilitators for participation.

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Nursing Commons