Reaching those most in need: a review of diabetes self-management interventions in disadvantaged populations

Diabetes Metab Res Rev. 2002 Jan-Feb;18(1):26-35. doi: 10.1002/dmrr.266.


There has been increased recognition of the importance of developing diabetes self-management education (DSME) interventions that are effective with under-served and minority populations. Despite several recent studies in this area, there is to our knowledge no systematic review or synthesis of what has been learned from this research. An electronic literature search identified five formative evaluations and ten controlled DSME intervention trials focused on under-served (low-income, minority or aged) populations. The RE-AIM (Reach, Efficacy, Adoption, Implementation, Maintenance) evaluation framework was used to evaluate the controlled studies on the dimensions of reach, efficacy, adoption, implementation, and maintenance. Fifty percent of the studies identified reported on the percentage of patients who participated, and the percentages were highly variable. The methodological quality of the articles was generally good and the short-term results were encouraging, especially on behavioral outcomes. Data on adoption (representativeness of settings and clinicians who participate) and implementation were almost never reported. Studies of modalities in addition to group meetings are needed to increase the reach of DSME with under-served populations. The promising formative evaluation work that has been conducted needs to be extended for more systematic study of the process of intervention implementation and adaptation with special populations. Studies that explicitly address the community context and that address multiple issues related to public health impact of DSME interventions are recommended to enhance long-term results.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Cost of Illness
  • Diabetes Mellitus / therapy*
  • Health Priorities
  • Humans
  • Medically Underserved Area*
  • Minority Groups
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Poverty
  • Self Care*