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Quality of life of children with type-1 diabetes and difficulties that they and their families facing on day to day living with diabetes


Type-1 diabetes is effecting about 1 in every 400 to 500 young people under 20 years of age. It can cause many organic and psychological complications, and make their quality of life markedly poorer than that of general population. The study aimed to assess the quality of life that diabetic children and their families have in our community; to concentrate on their needs and focus the services to help them to overcome the difficulties.


It was a cross-sectional, self-administered questionnaire-based survey. Included 140 mothers of type-1 diabetic children aged between 6 and 12 years from the pediatrics outpatients clinics in Prince Salman Hospital, and pediatrics diabetic clinics in Pediatrics Hospital in King Saud Complex and King Khaled University Hospital, during the period Ramadan to Dhu Al-Hijja 1428 H (September and October 2007 G).


53.6 % of the study sample was female and 66.4% had high school education. The mothers' ages, were 39.0 ±7.9 years. 55% of the study sample diagnosed to have diabetes less than four years back, and only 5.8% children had diabetes for 9 to ten years. 28% of the children had inferiority feelings and 38% complained of low activity. 29.3% of the children could inject insulin and performed self-administered glucose home monitoring. 65% of mother believed their family activities got disrupted because of child health. 75.4% of the children did not have a qualified staff member in school to take care of them at school. 86% were satisfied with ER services.


In general, children's quality of life was good, moderate impact of diabetes on the children as well as the families' activities, relatively low impact on the psychosocial aspects, and no impact on the school performance, while the mothers had some psychosocial problems which improved with time. There were no qualified persons in the schools who could take care of the diabetic children, and that can be solved by training a school staff member in each school to take care of them, and on the contrary the emergency room services were satisfactory. Diabetic knowledge of children and mothers was inadequate and the support organizations and clubs for diabetic children and their families were absent.