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A New Tool for Parents

Published: April 1st, 2014

Category: In the News


For parents, thinking about their child’s disease rarely stops at the clinic. They carry their concerns home with them. In fact, most parents of children with Type 1 diabetes use Internet forums to gain knowledge of their child’s disease and to find social support among other parents, UF researchers have found.

They examined how parents used these forums in a study, which was published in the journal Pediatric Diabetes. UF researcher Amanda Balkhi surveyed 102 participants for the study. Of the 102 parents, 38 percent reported social support as the biggest benefit of the forums. Thirty-one percent cited the knowledge they gained there as the primary reason they used the forums and 22 percent of parents cited a mix of support and knowledge as draws to the forum. The study’s findings can better establish how much these forums affect parents’ care of their children. This is important because of the quality of information parents expect to find in the online forums, said Gary Geffken, Ph.D., chief of medical psychology within the department of psychiatry for UF Health.

For more on this study, please visit the UF Health Newsroom.