Background: The present study was conducted as part of an ongoing project to develop an innovative educational intervention for young people with type 1 diabetes. We aimed to seek the views of children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes and their parents regarding (i) the acceptability of the new programme and (ii) practical aspects regarding course design and delivery.
Methods: Twenty-four children and 29 parents attended one of eight separate focus groups. Semi-structured interview schedules were developed around two main areas of discussion: views on the education programme; and views on the design and delivery of current and future education. Discussions were tape-recorded and transcribed, before undergoing systematic qualitative analysis.
Results: Participants agreed that the proposed intervention was feasible, and were enthusiastic that it could improve quality of life and 'normality'. Potential problems included self-management during school-time and parental anxiety. In terms of course design/delivery, participants emphasized the need to maximize enjoyment on the course (e.g. integrating fun and practical sessions, holding parts of the course outside of the clinic setting), and encourage effective learning and adherence to the regimen (e.g. including separate parent education, and using IT-based reference material).
Conclusions: The qualitative methodology proved an effective way of eliciting child and parent views and informing the development of the proposed intervention. These findings can now be incorporated into the development of the education programme.