Goal Disturbance and Coping in Children with Type I Diabetes Mellitus: Relationships with Health-Related Quality of Life and A1C

Center of Research on Psychology in Somatic diseases (CoRPS), Department of Medical and Clinical Psychology, Tilburg University, Tilburg, The Netherlands.
Canadian Journal of Diabetes (Impact Factor: 2). 06/2013; 37(3):169-74. DOI: 10.1016/j.jcjd.2013.02.058
Source: PubMed


Our first objective was to compare the health-related quality of life (HRQoL) of children with type 1 diabetes mellitus (8-12 years) with that of a healthy reference group, and to compare glycated hemoglobin (A1C) values of these children to recommended guidelines. Our second objective was to examine how goal disturbance and coping behaviour were related to HRQoL and A1C.
Forty-three children, 8-12 years of age, completed a set of questionnaires that assessed generic and diabetes-specific HRQoL, goal disturbance and coping behaviour. Demographic and clinical characteristics were extracted from medical records.
Children with type 1 diabetes reported lower psychosocial HRQoL than healthy references (d=-0.48), especially on emotional functioning (d=-0.58). Goal disturbance was associated with lower generic HRQoL. Furthermore, the coping strategies avoidance, emotional reaction and wishful thinking were negatively associated with lower generic and disease-specific HRQoL (r ranged from -0.33 to -0.65), whereas acceptance was positively associated with disease-specific HRQoL (r=0.36). The average A1C was with 8.1% significantly above the recommended guidelines of 7.5%. Moreover, the coping strategies avoidance (r=0.31) and emotional reaction (r=0.32) were positively associated with higher blood glucose levels.
The psychosocial HRQoL of children with type 1 diabetes was affected, which was directly associated with the inability to reach personal goals (goal disturbance). An accepting coping strategy might solve these HRQoL problems and additionally improve A1C values.