Last update:


Arch Hellen Med, 31(4), July-August 2014, 427-432


Assessment of psychological distress in parents of children with type 1 diabetes mellitus

E. Almpani,1 Μ. Gouva,2 Ε. Kotrotsiou,3 K.H. Katsanos,4 P. Katsivelas,1 I. Lentzas,5 E. Giagou,6 G. Lalagianni,7 G.D. Skoutelis8
1Sixth Health District Administration, Patras,
2Τechnological Εducational Ιnstitute of Epirus, Ioannina,
3Τechnological Εducational Ιnstitute of Larissa, Larissa,
4University of Ioannina, Medical School, Ioannina,
5Health Center of Simopoulo, Simopoulo, Ileia,
6University Hospital of Ioannina, Ioannina,
7"Karamandaneio" General Hospital of Children, Patras,
8"Elpis" General Hospital, Athens, Greece

OBJECTIVE An increased frequency of psychological problems is documented in the parents of children suffering from type 1 diabetes mellitus (DM). The aim of this study was to investigate the psychological distress of the parents of children with type 1 DM and the differences between fathers and mothers.

METHOD The study sample consisted of 83 parents, 18 fathers and 65 mothers, of children with type 1 DM, who were accompanying their children for regular outpatient examination in the pediatric endocrinology departments of one university and one general hospital in a provincial town in Greece. The participants completed the SCL-90 questionnaire which comprises 9 subscales evaluating psychological status, and from which the global severity index, positive symptoms distress index and positive symptoms total are derived. Statistical analysis was conducted using the t-test and x2, with statistical significance set at p<0.05.

RESULTS Mothers scored higher than fathers in all subscales other than psychoticism and hostility, although the differences were not statistically significant. The mean value for the positive symptoms distress index was 1.35±0.67 in the fathers and 1.59±0.47 in the mothers (p=0.085).

CONCLUSIONS Mothers and fathers of children with type 1 DM report a considerable degree of psychological distress. Mothers show a trend for higher levels of distress than fathers in the dimensions of anxiety and depression.

Key words: Child, Distress, Parent, Psychology, Type 1 diabetes mellitus.

© Archives of Hellenic Medicine