Type 1 Doing Well: Pilot Feasibility and Acceptability Study of a Strengths-Based mHealth App for Parents of Adolescents with Type 1 Diabetes

Diabetes Technol Ther. 2020 Nov;22(11):835-845. doi: 10.1089/dia.2020.0048. Epub 2020 May 22.


Background: We evaluated the feasibility and acceptability of a pilot behavioral intervention delivered to parents of adolescents with type 1 diabetes (T1D) via mobile-friendly web app. The Type 1 Doing Well app aimed to promote supportive family diabetes management by helping parents recognize and reinforce teens' positive diabetes-related behaviors ("strengths"). Methods: Parents (n = 80, 74% recruitment) of adolescents (age range = 12-17 years, M = 15.3 ± 1.5 years, 59% female, 56% insulin pump, M hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) = 9.0% ± 2.1%) were randomized 2:1 to intervention or control (i.e., usual medical care with or without app) for 3-4 months between diabetes appointments. The app prompted parents daily to track adolescents' strengths and generated weekly summaries of their teen's top strengths. Parents could access a library of text messages to praise their teens. Exploratory pre/post data included questionnaires (98% completed) and HbA1c. Results: Parents used the app for M = 106.1 ± 37.1 days, logging in ≥once/day on 80% of days. Ninety-one percent of parents used the app ≥2 days/week on average. Parents viewed M = 5.6 ± 4.7 weekly summaries and "favorited" 15 praise texts in the library. App acceptability ratings (7-point scale) were high: Satisfaction 5.0 ± 1.5, Usefulness 4.8 ± 1.5, Ease of Use 6.2 ± 0.8, and Ease of Learning 6.5 ± 0.8. Parents (n = 48) and adolescents (n = 47) gave positive feedback and suggestions via qualitative interviews. There were no significant between-group differences for change in exploratory outcomes (HbA1c, questionnaires). Conclusions: Type 1 Doing Well was feasible to deliver and highly acceptable and engaging for parents of adolescents with T1D. It may have a larger impact on behavioral or clinical outcomes as part of a multicomponent intervention protocol. Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02877680.

Keywords: Adolescents; Diabetes mellitus; Health behavior; Mobile health; Parents; Pilot study; Resilience; Type 1.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1* / therapy
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mobile Applications*
  • Parents
  • Pilot Projects
  • Telemedicine*

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT02877680