Learning by supporting others -experienced parents' development process when supporting other parents with a child with Type 1 diabetes.

Research paper by Åse Å Boman

Indexed on: 22 Dec '17Published on: 22 Dec '17Published in: Journal of Clinical Nursing


This study's purpose was to describe and analyze coach-parents' development process when supporting parents of children recently diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus (T1DM).It has been found repeatedly that providing social support for families with a child diagnosed with T1DM promotes health and wellbeing for both the child and the parents. Less explored are the processes experienced by those who provide this support. However, research has found that acting as a provider of social support promotes personal development, strengthens communication skills, and increases self-confidence.The study design was based on Constructivist Grounded Theory and data were collected, through Repeated Focus Group Discussions, from eight coach-parents at a Swedish hospital from 2012-2015.The core category in the data was identified as a learning process where coach-parents emphasized their own learning in the dyad supporter - supported, and in the interaction with other parents in the Repeated Focus Group Discussions. The coach-parents' motivation for participation was a wish to learn more and to help other parents in a life-changing situation. They also pointed out hindrances and their frustration when unable to provide support.This study leads to the conclusion that people who provide support benefit from doing so. Encountering people with similar experiences in a supportive situation promotes a reciprocal learning process, based on the supporter's wish to help people in a situation they recognize. A further conclusion is that social support is not only essential initially, but is also important over a longer period and that it follows various life stages.Setting up repeated focus group discussions might be a relevant and effective tool for pediatric diabetes nurses to use in promoting health and wellbeing for both families with a newly diagnosed child and experienced families. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.