Awareness regarding COVID-19 and problems being faced by young adults with type 1 diabetes mellitus amid nationwide lockdown in India: A qualitative interview study

  • Author Footnotes
    1 Both Rimesh Pal and Urmila Yadav to be considered as first authors.
    Rimesh Pal
    1 Both Rimesh Pal and Urmila Yadav to be considered as first authors.
    Department of Endocrinology, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, 160012 India
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  • Author Footnotes
    1 Both Rimesh Pal and Urmila Yadav to be considered as first authors.
    Urmila Yadav
    1 Both Rimesh Pal and Urmila Yadav to be considered as first authors.
    National Institute of Nursing Education, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, 160012 India
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  • Anmol Verma
    Department of Endocrinology, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, 160012 India
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  • Sanjay K. Bhadada
    Corresponding author.
    Department of Endocrinology, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, 160012 India
    Search for articles by this author
  • Author Footnotes
    1 Both Rimesh Pal and Urmila Yadav to be considered as first authors.


      • Young adults with T1DM lacked adequate awareness about COVID-19.
      • Prevailing lockdown had reduced the routine physical activity of people with T1DM.
      • Suboptimal glucose control could be linked to reduction in physical activity.



      To assess the awareness about COVID-19 and the problems being faced by young adults with T1DM amid nationwide lockdown in India.


      A cross-sectional telephone-based qualitative interview study was conducted in young adults (aged 18–30 years) with T1DM amid lockdown. Following verbal consent, participants were asked 8 open-ended questions, 5 on awareness about COVID-19 and 3 catering to problems being faced concerning diet, physical activity and treatment amid lockdown. On average, 3 interviews were conducted per day with each lasting for 15−20 min. Interviews were recorded, transcribed and analyzed by qualitative content analysis.


      Thirty-two participants were interviewed; after exclusion of two poorly recorded interviews, 30 were finally analyzed. Mean age of participants was 22.4 ± 4.0 years (M:F = 8:7). Only 30%, 40% and 53% of participants were aware of modes of transmission (respiratory droplets and fomites), cardinal symptoms (fever, cough and breathing difficulty) and means of prevention (staying indoors, social distancing and regular hand washing), respectively. Majority of participants were unaware of additional risks associated with COVID-19 in diabetes mellitus. Most participants could continue with their routine diet and prescribed treatment regime, however, 90% reported a reduction in physical activity and 72% experienced worsening of glycemic control amid lockdown.


      Young adults with T1DM lack adequate awareness about COVID-19. Increasing awareness and imparting diabetes self-management education via digital/print media is needed.


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