Indrė Čergelytė – Podgrušienė, Vida Gudžinskienė


Type 1 diabetes mellitus is a chronic disease that disrupts a normal family life. Diabetes affects the child’s family: a chronic disease of a child is a difficult experience for all members of the family. Compared to other chronic diseases, diabetes mellitus causes tension in the members of a family of a child with diabetes. Negative emotions of one’s family members can eventually make an impact on the psychological and social development of a child. Parents are afflicted with various fears: they are concerned about the child’s life, possible complications, worried about the child’s future related to gaining a profession and starting a family. Research object: parent’s, who raise a children with diabetes mellitus, emotional situation and experience of coming to terms with the disease.
Research aim: to reveal how parents, who raise a child with diabetes mellitus, feel when they find out about child’s disease and learn to come to terms with it. Research objectives: 1) to determine emotional states of parents, who raise a child with diabetes mellitus, at the beginning of the disease; 2) to reveal how emotionaly react and what methods are used by parents to learn to come to terms with the child’s disease.
Research methods: theoretical – analysis, systematization and generalization of scientific literature; empirical – a semi-structured interview method has been used for data collection; content analysis method has been applied for the analysis of the research data. Participants of the research were 5 women, who have children with diabetes. Participants of the research have children, who are affected by diabetes up to 3 years, age of children is from 3 to 11 years. All women had higher education.
Empirical research revealed that after determining that one’s child is suffering from diabetes mellitus, parents experience various emotional states (stress, anxiety, fear, shock, depression, ignorance and chaos); thus, it is very important to provide parents with psychological support and sufficient amount of information about the disease and future perspectives. After determining that one’s child has diabetes, informants of the research go through various emotional states (experience shock, anxiety, fear, confusion, stages of denial, do not know how to behave and what to do). Participants of the research emphasized that family support, not giving in to emotions and search for solutions helped to overcome negative emotions. Empirical research revealed that parents, who raise a child with diabetes mellitus, in various ways try to learn to live with the disease and accept it. Participants of the research mentioned that their personal qualities and self-control, as well as the incentive to find out more about diabetes and means of treatment on the Internet, diabetes clubs and parenting forums helped to come to terms with the disease. Participants of the research have also emphasized that they are learning to come to terms with the disease by sharing their experience with other parents, by constructively solving critical situations and by other ways that help children to control the course of the disease during their daily activities.


Type 1 diabetes mellitus, parents, learning process, emotional situation.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.13165/SD-19-17-1-05


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"Social Work" ISSN online 2029-2775 / ISSN print 1648-4789