Satisfaction With Participation in the First STEPS Behavioral Intervention: Experiences of Parents of Young Children With Newly Diagnosed Type 1 Diabetes

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Journal of pediatric psychology




clinical trial; diabetes; parents; qualitative methods


OBJECTIVE: Parents of young children with new-onset type 1 diabetes (T1D) often experience significant distress and struggle with T1D management during a challenging developmental stage. The First STEPS (Study of Type 1 in Early childhood and Parenting Support) trial evaluated a stepped-care behavioral intervention comprising increasingly intensive intervention steps (peer parent coach, cognitive-behavioral counseling, consultations with diabetes educator and psychologist) based on need. The intervention improved parental depressive symptoms compared to usual care. Subsequently, we examined parent satisfaction with the intervention to guide potential implementation and refinement for future trials. METHODS: Participants were 157 parents of young children newly diagnosed with T1D. At 9 months post randomization, n = 153 completed satisfaction questionnaires and n = 17 completed qualitative interviews. Satisfaction ratings about trial procedures and each intervention step were summarized. We used thematic analysis with the interview transcripts to generate themes related to participants' experiences in the trial overall and intervention specifically. We explored differences in themes between participants who did versus did not respond to the intervention and among those who experienced different intervention steps. RESULTS: Most participants in both arms rated study participation and methods positively (>95%), and those completing interviews described high satisfaction with study procedures overall, retention incentives, and contact with study staff. Intervention participants' satisfaction ratings were high across steps. Two qualitative themes reflected satisfaction with the intervention enhancing self-efficacy and social support. CONCLUSIONS: High satisfaction suggests implementing a stepped-care behavioral intervention as part of routine clinical care following T1D diagnosis would be well received.


Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences