Introduction: Diabetes mellitus type 1 (DM1) markedly alters the lives of individuals and their families. Family members can be affected by diabetes and its treatment, causing burden, distress, and reduced quality of life (QOL).
Objective: The aim of this research is to study the relationship between the diabetic child and the family members, to evaluate the stress and emotional issues between siblings, and to weigh in on the psychological, affective, and financial burden that parents have to deal with in their daily life.
Materials and methods: A total of 37 diabetic Lebanese families recruited from the Chronic Care Center (CCC) answered two questionnaires, one about general information and the other related to psychological and financial impact of DM1 and its oral complications on the families.
Results: About 56.8% have monthly income below $1,000; 16.2% of parents have an educational upper limit of college degree; 83.8% of the mothers are housewives; 75.7% of parents feel guilty about their child's condition; 89.2% feel that their diabetic child is frustrated with their diet. For 78.4%, the siblings are jealous of the diabetic child; 13.5% of parents are well aware of the oral complications of diabetes and 86.5% think that treating the diabetic child's teeth is more important than the siblings’ ones; 91.9% assist their diabetic child's toothbrushing, but 81.1% of family members do not visit the dentist regularly. A total of 100% allocate special budget for the diabetic child's diet and 59.4% have an additional budget dedicated to the diabetic child's treatment; 81.1% declared that their career is affected by their child's illness.
Conclusion: The diabetic child expressed frustration with their diet. The child's siblings are jealous as they feel left behind. The parents experienced guilt feeling and psychological stress. They have social restriction and financial problems. The QOL of families living with a diabetic child is altered negatively.
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