Senior Honors Projects, 2010-current

Preferred Name - First Author

Gray, Melissa

Date of Award

Spring 2017

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (BS)

Department

Honors Interdisclipinary

Advisor(s)

Chris Fasching Maphis

Abstract

Caring for children with chronic medical conditions, such as type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) has negative implications for the psychosocial wellbeing of the family. Through this project, the negative affects of T1DM on the family were addressed by the formation of the Life’s Too Sweet: A Workshop for a Brighter Future With Type 1 Diabetes (LTS) event, which creates community support for affected families. During LTS workshops, parents collaborated with each other, while the children participated in fun, educational activities about nutrition, fitness, and overall health in relation to T1DM. Supporting interdisciplinary professionals, such as nurses, social workers, registered dietitians, certified diabetes educators, and exercise science professionals facilitated the event along with students from the James Madison University Students With Diabetes chapter (JMU SWD). The workshops also included inspirational keynote speakers as well as T1DM technology and treatment intervention vendors. Following the second annual LTS workshop, adult volunteers were offered an anonymous survey in order to gain qualitative feedback about the event and their experiences regarding caring for a child with T1DM. Results indicate strong positive feedback regarding the quality and effectiveness of the second annual LTS workshop. Additional analyses reveal that most participants agreed that T1DM prevents them from attaining peace of mind, but also agreed that T1DM can also have some positive impacts on their family. Comprehensively, this project establishes the viability and success of interdisciplinary and community-based intervention efforts in rural areas and validates the recommendation for support and funding for committees to coordinate similar workshops for families affected by T1DM and other chronic conditions.

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