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Parental burnout in relation to sociodemographic, psychosocial and personality factors as well as disease duration and glycaemic control in children with Type 1 diabetes mellitus

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Abstract Aim: 

To examine associations between burnout and sociodemographic, psychosocial, personality and medical factors in parents of children with Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus (T1DM). Methods: 

A total of 252 parents of children with T1DM participated in a population-based study. We used self-report questionnaires to assess symptoms of burnout and background factors. Results: 

Psychosocial background factors were significantly associated with burnout in parents, whereas there were no associations between sociodemographic or medical factors and burnout. For both genders, parental burnout was associated with low social support, lack of leisure time, financial concerns and a perception that the child’s disease affects everyday life. Low self-esteem and high need for control were risk factors for maternal burnout. Conclusion: 

In the screening of risk factors for long-term stress in parents of children with T1DM, we should recognize parents’ attitudes as well as situational psychosocial issues. In clinics, we need to pay attention to the day-to-day life circumstances in the support of these parents. Certain factors were associated with the risk for burnout only for mothers, which warrant further investigation of gender aspects. Continued research about the causal relationship between the parental responsibility, psychosocial factors and burnout is warranted.

Keywords: Childhood Type 1 diabetes; Medical factors; Parental burnout; Personality factors; Psychosocial factors

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Woman and Child Health, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden

Publication date: July 1, 2011

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