Parental fear of hypoglycemia: young children treated with continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion

Pediatr Diabetes. 2007 Dec;8(6):362-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1399-5448.2007.00242.x.


Background: The objective of this study was to examine the association between parental fear of hypoglycemia and average daily blood glucose control of young children with type 1 diabetes receiving continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion (CSII). We hypothesized that parental fear of hypoglycemia would correlate positively with children's average daily blood glucose control.

Methods: Twenty-four families of children with type 1 diabetes who were receiving CSII were recruited from a pediatric hospital. Children had a mean age of 5.7 +/- 1.8 yr (range 2-8 yr) and were evenly split on gender. Parents completed a modified version of the Hypoglycemia Fear Survey - Parents of Young Children (HFS-PYC), a measure designed to assess fear and avoidance behaviors associated with hypoglycemia. Blood glucose was assessed for the 2 wk following completion of the HFS-PYC using a standard home blood glucose meter.

Results: Parents of young children obtained a mean total HFS-PYC score of 81 +/- 14.1 (possible range 26-130), suggesting a moderate level of fear. The HFS-PYC was found to be internally consistent and had good test-retest reliability. For parents of young children receiving CSII, fear of hypoglycemia correlated positively with children's mean daily blood glucose levels (r = 0.41, p = 0.05).

Conclusions: Parents of young children with type 1 diabetes who are receiving CSII report significant fear of hypoglycemia. Parental fear of hypoglycemia may be a barrier to prevent optimal glycemic control.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Blood Glucose / analysis
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / complications*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / drug therapy
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / psychology
  • Fear*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemia / etiology
  • Hypoglycemia / psychology*
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / adverse effects
  • Injections, Subcutaneous
  • Insulin / administration & dosage*
  • Insulin / adverse effects
  • Insulin Infusion Systems / adverse effects
  • Male
  • Parent-Child Relations
  • Parents / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


  • Blood Glucose
  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Insulin