Parents' experiences of managing their child's diabetes using an insulin pump: a qualitative study

D Rankin, J Harden, K Noyes, N Waugh, K Barnard, J Lawton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

AIMS: To better understand the impact of continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion delivered by pump on parents who care for young children using such pumps. To help interpret the psychological outcomes reported in quantitative research and inform future provision of support to parents.

METHODS: We conducted in-depth interviews with 19 parents of children (aged ≤12 years) with Type 1 diabetes who used an insulin pump. Data were analysed thematically.

RESULTS: Parents reported multiple benefits from using insulin pumps, including: no longer having to administer painful injections; fewer restrictions on the frequency, timing and carbohydrate contents of snacks and meals; and improvements in family life and their child's glycaemic control. Parents liked and felt less anxious about using bolus calculators to determine insulin doses; however, parents also described undertaking additional and unanticipated work to manage their child's diabetes using a pump. This included performing more blood glucose tests to calculate insulin doses for snacks and to address their concerns that the pump increased their child's risk of hypoglycaemia. Some parents reported doing additional blood glucose checks because they could adjust pump settings to better manage hypo- and hyperglycaemia.

CONCLUSIONS: Parents liked and perceived benefits for their child and themselves from using an insulin pump; however, parents would benefit from being made aware of the additional work involved in using a pump and also from education and support to address concerns about hypoglycaemia. Better measures to evaluate parents' experiences are also recommended. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)627–634
JournalDiabetic Medicine
Issue number5
Early online date9 Jan 2015
Publication statusPublished - May 2015


Dive into the research topics of 'Parents' experiences of managing their child's diabetes using an insulin pump: a qualitative study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this