To become an expert within a week: Children's and parents' experiences of the child being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and receiving diabetes education – A qualitative interview study

Published:October 25, 2022DOI:



      To explore children's and parents' experiences of the child being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and receiving diabetes education during hospitalisation.

      Design and methods

      A qualitative interpretive design was applied. Semi-structured interviews with 15 children and their parent(s) were conducted. Data were analysed via thematic analysis.


      The analysis revealed three themes: To be diagnosed with diabetes turns one's world upside down; It is positive to meet friendly and helpful healthcare professionals; and Diabetes education is overwhelming but required.


      To be hospitalised and receive a diabetes diagnosis is overwhelming. The family must learn, in a short time, the basic skills to manage the condition. While learning, the child may fluctuate between being active and passive. In this vulnerable situation, it is positive to meet helpful healthcare professionals. Children find the motivation to learn, as they want to self-manage and be independent. All necessary education is given, but often the families would like to be more actively involved in the teaching. Sometimes, the teaching is also very compressed.

      Practice implications

      It is important to be aware of the vulnerable situation of the family and to adjust education to the fluctuations of the child. Teaching should be simplified and broken down stepwise, using pictures, artefacts, etc., to support the learning. More involvement may make education even more engaging and interesting. It has to be considered whether the education can be compressed into too short a time, making it difficult to transfer to the everyday lives of the families.


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