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Peer Support and Type 1 Diabetes

Incorporating Experiential Knowledge into Service Design with Adolescents and Their Caregivers


Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is a lifelong disease that impacts the everyday lives of adolescents with T1D and their families. Research shows that adolescents with T1D and their caregivers can benefit when learning from other adolescents and caregivers who share similar experiences.


In this CIHR-funded collaborative project we and our partners will work with adolescents with T1D and their caregivers to understand how peer support is helpful for improving disease self-management. This 4-phase project uses a participatory research approach by working in partnership with adolescents with T1D and their caregivers.


Phase 1 establishes a Community Advisory Board made up of adolescents, caregivers, clinicians, community partners, and researchers to guide all stages of the project. Adolescents with T1D and caregivers will be recruited and formally trained as Peer Co-Researchers to help with all project activities.


In Phase 2, adolescents and caregivers will craft digital stories to share their perspectives about peer support in T1D.


In Phase 3, adolescents with T1D and their caregivers attended will view the digital stories, generate ideas, and prioritize what should be included in peer support interventions.


In Phase 4, the adolescents and caregivers will participate in a ‘Hackathon’ to co-design accessible, inclusive, and equitable peer support interventions and ideas for research studies to test the interventions.


The phased evaluation findings of this project will support the development of a Toolkit, with comprehensive learnings, that will be shared with diabetes clinicians, researchers, people with lived experience, and community partners provincially, nationally, and internationally across various research, clinical, and lived experience networks.