Research at Brock on the lookout for younger adults with Sort 1 diabetes

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A study at Brock University is looking for young adults with type 1 diabetes.

People between the ages of 18 and 30 are being sought for the study, which looks at traits they would expect in a mentor.

The goal of the project is to develop an intervention that will help those with the disease who may have problems.

Type 1 diabetes, commonly referred to as juvenile or insulin-dependent diabetes, is a chronic disease in which the pancreas itself produces little or no insulin. This leads to serious damage to the heart, blood vessels, eyes, kidneys, and nerves over time.

Vanessa Sjaarda, who is doing her Masters in Applied Health Sciences, says she wants to improve the lives of those affected.

Sjaarda was also diagnosed with type 1.

“It’s been 10 years since I received this life-changing diagnosis,” says Sjaarda, who realizes that there are many others like her who have received the news beyond childhood. “While children and type 1 diabetes are very much a focus and research, we will all eventually become young adults and there is a knowledge gap for our age group,” she says. “This is a disease that requires constant management and learning to deal with yourself on a daily basis,” says Sjaarda. “The results of my literature review underscore that high levels of emotional stress are associated with the endless worries, stresses, and concerns associated with treating diabetes.”

The research project “Characteristics of a mentor required to build positive relationships in a type 1 diabetes intervention from a mentee’s perspective” is looking for English-speaking study participants.

Teens 18 to 30 years old with type 1 diabetes who would like to participate in an online interview through Microsoft Teams are asked to email Sjaarda at vs15lv@brocku.ca before Wednesday March 31st send. The conversational style interviews typically last less than an hour and participants can choose to share as much or as little as they want.