Background. Type 1 diabetes requires intensive management, including blood glucose monitoring, carbohydrate counting and dietary modification, and administering insulin. When a child is diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, family dynamics are often altered as family schedules revolve around care for the child with diabetes. In addition, siblings face unique challenges as they become involved in the care of the child with type 1 diabetes. Therefore, it is important to understand experiences of siblings of youth with type 1 diabetes. Aims and Objectives. To identify experiences of siblings of children with type 1 diabetes from their own perspectives. Sample. As part of a larger IRB approved study, 51 children and adolescents ages 8-18 years with diabetes (M = 13.18), who have a sibling ages 8-18 years (M = 12.6), were recruited from diabetes summer camps and the diabetes clinic at a regional medical center. Methods. A qualitative descriptive design was used to ascertain experiences of siblings of youth with T1DM using semi-structured, scripted interviews. Interviews were audio recorded, transcribed verbatim, and analyzed for common themes according to qualitative methodology. Results. Common themes emerging from the data are: (1) knowledge about type 1 diabetes – how it was obtained and what more siblings wanted to know; (2) feelings experienced; (3) sibling relationship – the impact of diabetes on the relationship; and (4) involvement in diabetic care. Implications. It is important for healthcare providers working with children with T1DM and their families need to be aware of and address the psychological effects of the disease on all family members. While providers cannot alleviate all challenges and fears experienced by siblings of a youth with T1DM, they can make the parents aware of the challenges siblings face, facilitate communication among family members, and help connect brothers/sisters with resources such as education, support groups, and counseling.



College and Department

Nursing; Nursing



Date Submitted


Document Type





children, chronic conditions, siblings, type 1 diabetes, youth



Included in

Nursing Commons