Home-based Settings

Home-based interventions attempt to involve the entire family in efforts to prevent and manage diabetes. For example, through interactions between children and parents or guardians, families can help to provide meals and snacks that include nutritious foods, they can go for walks or bike rides as a family, or they can all participate in the monitoring of glucose levels and medication taking (e.g., including charts on the refrigerator). Likewise, the family is a useful source of social support for diabetes prevention and management (e.g., social acceptance, dietary restrictions).

Previous work in home-based settings has found:

  • Given the evidence for the efficacy of home-based programs in improving parenting skills of low-income parents of preschool children, a home-based diabetes education program may be the most developmentally appropriate and ecologically valid method of delivering health education to low-income, inner-city families.
  • Responsibility for a child’s day-to-day diabetes management rests with the caregivers. Therefore, a home-based program is a way to overcome barriers that other interventions may face. For example, literacy and time constraints can hamper the use of written materials. Lack of transportation, schedule conflicts and busy parental lifestyles can be reasons that may limit participation in community-based health programs. Lastly, internet technology is not accessible to all families.
  • Intervention strategies in home-based settings often emphasize emotional support (encouragement for dealing with the psychosocial challenges) alone or in addition to other forms of support, including parent/family participation in activities together (e.g., homework assignments, special classes for parents while children are in classes, support groups for parents).
  • Programs delivered to individuals in their homes can provide effective diabetes management and education and may be more cost effective than hospitalization.
  • Home-based programs are particularly pertinent to community members who are unable to access diabetes education classes offered in the community (i.e., individuals with physical disability, limited mobility, no access to transportation, etc).
  • The Internet is becoming an increasingly popular setting to provide diabetes information for those living in rural areas with limited reach and availability of programs, as well as those who are homebound.

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