Previous studies have suggested that nighttime blood sugar fluctuations are a real problem—and a serious concern—for children with T1D and their parents.
There are a lot of things parents might worry about when it comes to their child with type 1 diabetes (T1D). Daily management, school hour glucose fluctuations, and social impact of their disease are just a few. Nighttime hypoglycemia is another concern, and one that might not be as obvious to clinicians.
Previous studies have suggested that nighttime blood sugar fluctuations are a real problem—and a serious concern—for children with T1D and their parents. How big of a worry this is, and the tangible fear parents face has not been studied thoroughly, though.
A new study, published in the Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology, sought to identify specific fears parents of children with TID have in respect to hypoglycemia at night.1
Researchers used a revised version of the Hypoglycemia Fear Survey for Parents (HFS-P) to make additional assessment of overnight concerns, labeling the new survey the Hypoglycemia Fear Survey for Parents including Nighttime Fear (HFS-P-NF).
Some of the additional survey questions focused on factors such as:
The goal of the study was to broaden the understanding clinicians have of the fear parents face while their children with T1D are asleep. The research team suggests that the findings of the study provide scope and validation for clinician efforts to offer more comprehensive screening for nighttime hypoglycemia.
The findings of this newest study are echoed in another report by some of the same authors that suggest that parental fear over overnight hypoglycemia increases with fluctuations in glucose levels. The use of continuous glucose monitoring devices and insulin pumps can raise awareness of fluctuating glucose levels, even if they do also help patients achieve glycemic control, according to another study from 2023.2
Both studies highlight the importance of talking to parents about their fears and worries are when it comes to the management of T1D—especially when advanced monitoring devices are being used.