Feasibility of Parent-to-Parent Support in Recently Diagnosed Childhood Diabetes: The PLUS Study

Sue Channon, Lesley Lowes, John W. Gregory, Laura Grey, Susan Sullivan-Bolyai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to develop and test the feasibility of a parent-to-parent support intervention for parents whose child has recently been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in the United Kingdom. Methods: The research team conducted a formative evaluation, working with parents to design an individual-level parent-to-parent support intervention. Issues of recruitment, uptake, attrition, pattern of contact, and intervention acceptability were assessed. Results: A US program was adapted in collaboration with a parents’ advisory group. Of 19 parents nominated as potential mentors by their pediatric diabetes specialist nurses, 12 (63%) volunteered and 11 continued for the 12-month intervention period. Thirty-three children were diagnosed with diabetes in the study period, with 25 families eligible to participate as recipients of the intervention; 9 parents from 7 of those families participated, representing 28% of those eligible. Feedback from parents and clinic staff identified peer support as a welcome service. Lessons were learned about the nature of the supporting relationship (eg, proximity, connectedness, and managing endings) that will enhance the design of future peer support programs. Conclusions: Parent-to-parent support in the context of newly diagnosed childhood diabetes in the United Kingdom is feasible to deliver, with good engagement of mentors and clinic staff. The program was acceptable to parents who chose to participate, although uptake by parents whose child had been recently diagnosed was lower than expected. The results merit further investigation, including exploration of parent preference in relation to peer support.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)462-469
Number of pages8
JournalDiabetes Educator
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Health Professions (miscellaneous)


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