Aims: There is a policy drive for children to contribute more directly in clinic visits. However, this has yet to be routinely achieved in practice and relatively little is known to date about younger children's views of their illness and care. This in-depth qualitative study set out to explore the experiences of children 10 years or younger living with Type 1 diabetes.
Methods: The sample of 17 children was self-selecting from a population of 140 children under 11 years receiving treatment for Type 1 diabetes at two outpatient clinics in a large, multicultural city. Fieldwork comprised home visits, discussion groups and observation in outpatient clinics.
Results: Children's strong experiential understandings of their condition, the impact of their social position on experiences of care and their active role in maintenance of the regimen were at odds with how they were positioned, and how the disease was discussed, in clinic.
Conclusion: Findings have implications for facilitating children's contributions in clinic, understanding how ideas about children are reproduced in clinical settings and supporting clinicians to engage with the capacities and priorities of children living with long-term illness.
© 2012 The Author. Diabetic Medicine © 2012 Diabetes UK.