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Parents of children with diabetes described the transition to the insulin pump in terms of enhanced freedom and quality of life for all family members

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Q What are the day to day experiences of parents in managing their children’s diabetes using continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion (insulin pump)?


Qualitative description.


A paediatric diabetes clinic in the eastern US.


21 parents (14 mothers and 7 fathers) of 16 children <12 years of age (mean age 7 y, 14 boys) with type 1 diabetes who were using the insulin pump. All parents were Caucasian and well educated.


Parents participated in interviews that lasted 90–230 minutes and included questions on the daily management of diabetes before and after the pump. Analysis was based on verbatim transcripts of interview audiotapes and field notes. Credibility of descriptive summaries was validated through member checks.


Parents’ responses were characterised by 5 themes. (1) Introduction to the pump. Parents learned about the pump from nurse practitioners or physicians and through friends or relevant websites. (2) Decision-making process. All parents believed that the pump would help their children attain better glucose control than multiple daily injections …

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  • For correspondence: Dr S Sullivan-Bolyai, University of Massachusetts, Worcester, MA, USA.

  • Source of funding: in part, Medtronic MiniMed Inc, Sylmar, CA.