The effectiveness of family interventions in people with diabetes mellitus: a systematic review

Diabet Med. 2005 Oct;22(10):1295-305. doi: 10.1111/j.1464-5491.2005.01618.x.


Aims: To conduct a systematic review of reports of published literature to assess which family interventions are effective in improving diabetes-related outcomes in people with diabetes and family members (blood or non-blood relatives) residing in their homes.

Methods: We searched computerized bibliographic databases (MEDLINE, EMBASE, PsycINFO, CINAHL, WOS, ERIC, Cochrane, CDP, and SocAbs) for randomized clinical trials published in any language that evaluated the effectiveness of family-based interventions with no age restriction. Only studies focused on interventions in young populations (< 18 years) and involving a parent were combined in a meta-analysis for glycated haemoglobin (GHb) using DerSimonian and Laird random effects model. Effect sizes for knowledge outcomes were estimated using the Cohen's d (standardized mean differences) formula.

Results: Our searches identified 19 randomized controlled trials. Positive effect sizes of family interventions on knowledge for five studies (N = 217) were demonstrated {0.94 [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.67, 1.82]}. A beneficial effect of interventions on GHb for eight studies (N = 505) was also observed using meta-analysis [-0.6 (95% CI -1.2, -0.1)].

Conclusions: Evidence suggests that family interventions in family or household members of people with diabetes may be effective in improving diabetes-related knowledge and glycaemic control.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Child
  • Chronic Disease
  • Diabetes Mellitus / psychology
  • Diabetes Mellitus / therapy*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / psychology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / therapy
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / psychology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / therapy
  • Family*
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A / analysis
  • Humans
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Glycated Hemoglobin A