Engaging Families of Children with Type 1 Diabetes into a Randomised Controlled Trial of a Brief Parenting Group Program

  • Alina MorawskaEmail author
  • Amy E. Mitchell
  • Aditi Lohan
Original Paper



Parenting interventions have demonstrated some potential for effectiveness in improving psychosocial and health outcomes for children with type 1 diabetes (T1D) and their families. However, most interventions have been tested with parents of adolescents, and engagement of parents of younger children into parenting interventions remains problematic. This study aimed to assess the feasibility and acceptability of the Positive Parenting for Healthy Living program for parents of children with T1D.


We describe our experiences with engagement and recruitment of parents of 2- to 10-year-old children with T1D into a randomised controlled trial of a brief parenting intervention. Engagement, including rates of enrolment, assessment completion and session participation, as well as feasibility were assessed at multiple time points during the trial using multiple measures.


We share our learnings in delivering and evaluating a parenting intervention for this population. In particular, we explore reasons for the low rate of enrolment, parents’ resistance in opening up about their problems, possible discrepancies between parent and practitioner views on the nature and extent of emotional and behavioural problems, and how better to target engagement efforts in the future.


We offer recommendations for engaging parents in future trials and parenting intervention initiatives.


Parenting Child behaviour Parenting intervention Type 1 diabetes Chronic illness Engagement 


Author Contributions

All authors contributed to study design. A.E.M. and A.L. implemented the study including participant recruitment and data collection. A.E.M. and A.M. conducted the analyses. All authors contributed to manuscript writing and revisions.


This work was supported by the Australian Research Council (grant number DP140100781) and a Children’s Hospital Foundation Early Career Fellowship (A.E.M.; award ref. 50223).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The Parenting and Family Support Centre is partly funded by royalties stemming from published resources of the Triple P—Positive Parenting Program, which is developed and owned by The University of Queensland (UQ). Royalties are also distributed to the Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences at UQ and contributory authors of published Triple P resources. Triple P International (TPI) Pty Ltd is a private company licensed by UQ, to publish and disseminate Triple P worldwide. The authors of this report have no share or ownership of TPI. A.M. has received royalties from TPI. TPI had no involvement in the study design, collection, analysis or interpretation of data, or writing of this report. A.M. and A.E.M. are employees at UQ.

Ethical Approval

Ethical approval was provided by the Queensland Children’s Hospital and Health Services District Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC/14/QRCH/1) and the University of Queensland Behavioural and Social Sciences Ethical Review Committee (2013001357).

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Parenting and Family Support Centre, School of PsychologyThe University of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia
  2. 2.Relationships Australia QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia

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