Use of the Mastery of Stress Instrument in Caregivers of Children Newly Diagnosed With Type 1 Diabetes Identifying a Need for Further Intervention

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The purpose of this study was to determine if the Mastery of Stress Instrument (MSI) can assess further education needs of primary caregivers of children newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. The MSI has been utilized to measure mastery in response to both illness and interventions, including education. The primary objective was to correlate MSI subscales and stress scores with caregiver age, ethnicity, gender, and education. Secondary objectives were to correlate MSI scores with child age at diagnosis, payer source, hemoglobin A1C (A1C), emergency room (ER) visits, or hospitalization for diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA).


Caregivers from a pediatric endocrinology practice completed the MSI after basic diabetes education. Demographic data from caregivers and patients were obtained. A1C, ER, and DKA were evaluated 2 years following completion of the MSI. Descriptive univariate statistics and proportions on nominal or discrete data were used to describe the data. Bivariable analyses included t tests and ANOVAs.


Eighty-five of 88 participants completed the instrument. Caregivers between 40 and 49 years of age scored worse on change, acceptance, and growth subscales compared to those 18 to 29 years of age. Those 40 to 49 years of age reported having more stress compared to caregivers 18 to 29 years of age. Males reported having less stress and were more willing to implement change compared to females. No statistically significant relationships between secondary outcomes measurements and MSI scores were detected.


The mastery of stress instrument identified groups of caregivers in need of further education or team interventions.

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