Study at Brock looking for young adults with Type 1 diabetes


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

People aged 18 to 30 are being sought for the study which will explore traits they’d want in a mentor. 

The goal of the project is to design an intervention to help those with the condition who may be struggling.

Type 1 diabetes, commonly referred to as juvenile or insulin-dependent diabetes, is a chronic condition where the pancreas produces little or no insulin by itself. Over time, this leads to serious damage to the heart, blood vessels, eyes, kidneys and nerves.

Vanessa Sjaarda, who is pursuing her master’s research in Applied Health Sciences, says she wants to make a difference in the lives of those faced with the disease.

Sjaarda has also been diagnosed with Type 1.

“It has been 10 years since I received this life-changing diagnosis,” says Sjaarda, who recognizes there are many others like her who received the news beyond childhood. “While there is a lot of focus and research on kids with Type 1 diabetes, eventually we all 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 how to take care of yourself daily,” says Sjaarda. “Findings from my literature review emphasize there are high levels of emotional stress linked to the unending worries, burdens and concerns that occur when managing diabetes.”

The research project, “Requisite Characteristics of a Mentor to Establish Positive Relationships in a Type One Diabetes Intervention from the Mentee Perspective,” is seeking English-speaking study participants.

Young people aged 18 to 30 with Type 1 diabetes who are interested in participating in an online interview via Microsoft Teams are invited to email Sjaarda at before Wednesday, March 31. The conversation-style interviews typically take less than one hour and participants can choose to share as much or as little as they feel comfortable.