Designing a brief and simple intervention to help young people with type 1 diabetes to live well: Protocol for developing a novel intervention with participation from young people

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Young people living with type 1 diabetes (T1D) navigate daily complex diabetes related tasks as they take on increasing (and eventually full) responsibility for managing their condition, in addition to developing their lives as independent adults. Alongside the need for careful day-to-day diabetes management, the psychosocial burden and mental health impact and stigma are well recognised. Despite advances in psychological care, many young people with diabetes still experience a greater mental health burden than those without diabetes. This study aims to develop a brief and simple intervention for young people with T1D that will support their wellbeing day to day, as required, and grow their ability to live confidently with their condition that requires lifelong meticulous management. Insights gained in this participatory study will guide the development and focus of the intervention which may involve a toolkit containing self-guided resources or which could be a series of recommendations on how to design a healthcare service with a support network that is tailored to the needs of young people. This study will consist of qualitative research and collaboration with young people with T1D and their siblings, friends, and peers to co-create a testable intervention. In Part 1, research interviews will be conducted with young people (16–24 years old) with T1D and, where possible, their siblings/peers to understand the day-to-day challenges of type 1 and what a novel intervention should address. Thematic analysis of interviews will inform the generation of a prototype intervention to take into part two, focus group discussions. Focus groups with (i) young people with T1D and, separately (ii) carers (comprising parents, carers, teachers, specialist nurses). Collaborative principles will be used to review, redesign and evolve the intervention to meet user needs. A blend of narrative and thematic analysis will inform the findings and report. Insights from Parts 1 and 2 will shape a user-defined and formatively analysed brief and simple intervention and future study design ready for pilot testing. The aim of this part of the research is to maximise acceptability and usability of a testable intervention by the target population. To aim of the future intervention will be to demonstrate effectiveness in helping young adults to live well with T1D.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0285300
Number of pages18
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number9 September
Publication statusPublished - 8 Sept 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding: This research is funded by a studentship to the first author, provided by University of Brighton as part of its partnership activities with the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Applied Research Collaboration Kent, Surrey, Sussex. The funders did not and will not have a role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright: © 2023 Howland et al.


  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 - therapy
  • Educational Personnel
  • Focus Groups
  • Friends
  • Humans
  • Mental Health
  • Young Adult


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