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BACKGROUND: Benefits of physical activity are well recognized for youth with type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM), but being active is challenging. In this study, we aimed to investigate the challenges experienced by adolescents, their parents and young adults with T1DM when they are physically active.
METHODS: Six focus groups involving adolescents (13 to 18 years old, n=14) and young adults (19 to 25 years old, n=7) and 4 focus groups with parents (n=14) of the adolescents (13 to 18 years) were established. Data were analyzed using content analysis.
RESULTS: Adolescents and young adults with T1DM identified challenges of unpredictability, knowledge, trust and stigma when they were physically active. Parent challenges were specifically unpredictability and trust.
CONCLUSIONS: Interventions are needed that provide adolescents and young adults with T1DM and parents of adolescents with T1DM more in-depth information about managing physical activity in a manner that enhances their perceived competence and builds autonomy. Interventions can also target peer and community support.
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