A previous study that assessed an empowerment programme for teenagers with diabetes showed no effects on metabolic control or empowerment outcomes. In pre/post measures teenagers >14 years of age significantly increased their HbA1c, and the hole group their readiness for changes. To balance the teenagers’ decision-making competence with parent involvement seems to be important when planning empowerment programmes for teenagers.
The aim was to get a deeper understanding of teenagers view on decision-making competence and parent involvement.
The study is a descriptive, qualitative interview study.
Thirty one out of 32 teenagers (19 girls, 13 boys, mean age= 14.2) attending an empowerment programme was interviewed after completing the programme. The interviews were transcribed, and analyzed with qualitative content analysis.
We found seven categories that influence decision-making competence:
Cognitive maturity: Make abstractions and priorities, understand consequences
Personal qualities: Flexibility, intuition and having courage.
Self-strength: Strong wishes to own decisions and control.
Experiencw: Own experiences or experiences from others.
Social network can be both promoting and hindering.
Safe environment and emotional factors.
We defined three categories of parent involvement:
Constructive involvement: Creating safety and teamwork. Parents being there when needed, having trust, sharing responsibility, listening and coaching.
Active destructive involvement: Misbelieves, blaming and making too hard demands.
Passive destructive involvement: Lack of understanding and engagement, need of control and conflicts.
We have elucidated factors that seem to be important when planning empowerment group education programmes for teenagers with diabetes. To facilitate parent involvement the results can be used in discussing efficient coping strategies with teenagers and parents.