1 Department of Psychology and Behavioural Sciences, Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University2 Department of Clinical Medicine - Department of Paediatrics, Department of Clinical Medicine, Health, Aarhus University3 Department of Public Health - Institute of General Medical Practice, Department of Public Health, Health, Aarhus University4 Department of Psychology and Behavioural Sciences, Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University5 Department of Clinical Medicine - Department of Paediatrics, Department of Clinical Medicine, Health, Aarhus University6 Department of Public Health - Institute of General Medical Practice, Department of Public Health, Health, Aarhus University
OBJECTIVE: To assess the prevalence of psychological difficulties in Danish children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes using both child/adolescent and caregiver reports, and to investigate associations between these symptoms and metabolic control, adherence, and quality of life. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHOD: A total of 786 children and adolescents (8-17 years) recruited through the Danish Registry of Childhood Diabetes completed subscales of the Beck's Youth Inventories (BYI-Y), while 910 caregivers completed the Strength and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ). The participants also completed questionnaires assessing adherence and quality of life. BYI-Y and SDQ responses were compared with results from normative samples. RESULTS: Children with diabetes generally reported a lower level of symptoms of depression and anxiety, while older adolescents in most cases were comparable to the normative samples. However, the numbers of patients with elevated scores were similar to normative groups, especially regarding the proportion of participants with 'Extremely elevated' scores. Caregivers of children and adolescents with diabetes generally reported the prevalence of elevated scores on the SDQ to exceed the prevalence observed in the norm sample--particularly with regard to older boys. Both BYI-Y and SDQ responses were significantly correlated with HbA1c, adherence, and quality of life. CONCLUSIONS: This study finds Danish children and adolescents with diabetes to report lower or comparable levels of emotional difficulties compared to norms, while caregiver reports are less positive. The results therefore support the value of a multi-informant approach to the assessment of symptoms of psychological difficulty in girls and boys with diabetes.