Type 1 Teamwork: A tool for Parents of Adolescents with Type 1 Diabetes

Period of Performance: 04/10/2016 - 03/31/2017


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

NEW England Research Institutes, Inc.
Watertown, MA 02472
Principal Investigator


? DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is one of the most common chronic illnesses in children, affecting 1 in 400,1 with evidence that its prevalence is increasing worldwide.2 The prevalence of T1D in adolescents is approximately 70 percent White, 22 percent Hispanic, and 8 percent Black.3-5 Parents of children with T1D are responsible for a labor-intensive and complicated daily regimen that has been described as an overwhelming experience, requiring constant vigilance.6 Intensive management of T1D requires frequent blood glucose monitoring, multiple insulin injections or use of an insulin pump, frequent alterations in insulin dose to match changing diet and activity patterns, and regular visits to health care providers. This 24/7 attention to their child's health manifests in elevated rates of parental perception of stress and increased risk for depression and anxiety. The prevalence of anxiety symptoms for parents of children with T1D range from 21-59 percent; depressive symptoms from 10-74 percent; psychological distress from 29-33 percent; and posttraumatic stress symptoms from 19-24 percent.7-9 Parental psychological distress has negative health implications for the parent, the overall functioning of the family, the psychological adjustment of their child with T1D, diabetes management, and child metabolic control.10-14 The goal of this application is to complete the psycho-educational web-based program for parents of adolescents with T1D (Type1Teamwork) which will help to: 1) decrease parental perceived stress and distress; 2) promote parental adjustment to the developmental transitions in adolescence; 3) support adolescent autonomy and transfer of diabetes responsibility from parent to adolescent; 4) decrease family conflict; and 5) maintain metabolic control during adolescence. We propose to complete two major Aims in Phase II: Specific Aim 1: Develop the Type1Teamwork program (for use on computer, tablet, or smartphone) based on the activities completed in Phase I. Six content themes have been identified as important to parents and providers. Feasibility assessment has provided support of these content themes as well as substantive recommendations to ensure content and interactivity is engaging and meets the needs of parents of children with T1D as well as health care providers. We will use an iterative process of development and evaluation, collaborating with our technology team, parent advisors, and clinical consultants to ensure development of a quality product and to submit a peer reviewed manuscript for publication of the results. Specific Aim 2: Evaluate the Type1Teamwork program through a modest randomized clinical trial. We will determine the effect of the program on parent psychosocial outcomes (stress, depression, and anxiety), adolescent autonomy, parent-adolescent responsibility for T1D management, family conflict, and adolescent metabolic control. Results will be presented at diabetes meetings, published in top tier journals (to provide clinical and scientific evidence of the newly developed program), and widely disseminated per the commercialization and marketing plan.