Background & Goal
Young people who suffer from type 1 diabetes – and their parents – need help dealing with the special challenges of that disease. Coping skills also are needed by youths at risk for type 2 diabetes (30-40 percent of new cases of diabetes in youth are type 2, which used to be a disease of the elderly).
Coping Skills Training assures that targeted youths – those of middle school age – have better metabolic control, quality of life, self-efficacy and coping skills than those who have received conventional diabetes education.
Coping Skills Training is a cognitive behavior intervention designed and delivered originally by nurses and other health professionals in small groups, building on the standard of care in diabetes education. The focus is on improving the coping skills of social problem-solving, communication skills, stress management, and cognitive behavioral modification. The ultimate goal is to improve peer, school, and family relationships and enhance self-management. The program focuses particularly on youths in their early teens, helping to assure that negative behaviors are addressed before extensive damage is done to the child’s health. Current efforts have translated the program to a web-based format with graphic novel videos to illustrate skills.