Diabetes in Different Populations


Different populations may respond to diabetes interventions in different ways. Before selecting your intervention strategies, you might think about how certain population characteristics may affect the success of your intervention. For example, population subgroups that differ by age, race or ethnicity, income or geography may respond differently to your intervention.

Based on existing diabetes interventions, the following considerations are “lessons learned” for each population subgroup. Despite the increasing accumulation of all types of evidence, knowledge about “how something should be done” remains limited (Rychetnik, 2004). Therefore, the considerations and strategies provided below may or may not be applicable to all subgroups. As always, it is important to work with the community to ensure intervention activities meet the needs of its people. Depending on the type of intervention you plan, it may be helpful to visit the population pages for related risks and conditions (Heart Disease and Stroke, Nutrition and Physical Activity).

Racial and ethnic minorities

Children and Adolescents

Older Adults








Anderson-Loftin, W., Barnett, S., Bunn, P., Sullivan, P., Hussey, J., & Tavakoli, A. (2005). Soul food light: culturally competent diabetes education. Diabetes Educ, 31(4):555-563.

Balamurugan, A., et al. (2009). A pilot study of diabetes education via telemedicine in a rural underserved community--opportunities and challenges: a continuous quality improvement process. Diabetes Educ, 35(1):147-54.

Bank-Wallace, J., Conn, V. (2002). Interventions to promote physical activity among African American women. Public Health Nurs. 19(5):321-335.

Brandt, P.A., Magyary, D.L. (1993). The impact of a diabetes education program on children and mothers. J Pediatr Nurs, 8(1):31-40.

Burnet, D., et al. (2002). A practical model for preventing type 2 diabetes in minority youth. Diabetes Educ, 28(5): 779-95.

Busch, S.H. & Vigdor, E.R. (2008-2009). Are adults in poor health more likely to enroll in public insurance? Inquiry, 45(4):380-94.

Callahan, S. T. & Mansfield, J.M. (2000). Type 2 diabetes mellitus in adolescents. Curr Opin Pediatr, 12(4): 310-5.

Carter, J.S., Pugh, J.A., & Monterrosa, A. (1996). Non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus in minorities in the United States. Ann Intern Med, 125(3):221-232.

Cassady, D., Jetter, K.M., & Culp, J. (2007). Is price a barrier to eating more fruits and
vegetables for low-income families? J Am Diet Assoc, 107:1909-1915.

Engel, S., et al. (1997). Computer-assisted diabetes nutrition education increases knowledge and self-efficacy of medical students. Diabetes Educ, 23(5): 545-9.

Gilden, J. L., et al. (1989). The effectiveness of diabetes education programs for older patients and their spouses. J Am Geriatr Soc, 37(11): 1023-30.

Glasgow, R.E., Toobert, D.J., Hampson, S.E., Brown, J.E., Lewinsohn, P.M., & Donnelly, J. (1992). Improving self-care among older patients with type II diabetes: the "Sixty Something..." Study. Patient Educ Couns, 19(1):61-74.

Glazier, R. H., et al. (2006). A systematic review of interventions to improve diabetes care in socially disadvantaged populations. Diabetes Care, 29(7): 1675-88.

Gohdes, D., Schraer, C., & Rith-Najarian, S. (1996). Diabetes prevention in American Indians and Alaska Natives: where are we in 1994? Diabetes Res Clin Pract. 34 Suppl:S95-100.

Greco, P., Pendley, J.S., McDonell, K., & Reeves, G. (2001). A peer group intervention for adolescents with type 1 diabetes and their best friends. J Pediatr Psychol, 26(8):485-490.

Hamalainen, H., Ronnemaa, T., Toikka, T., & Liukkonen I. (1998). Long-term effects of one year of intensified podiatric activities on foot-care knowledge and self-care habits in patients with diabetes. Diabetes Educ, 24(6):734-740.

Hill, A.J. (2002). Developmental issues in attitudes to food and diet. Proc Nutr Soc, 61(2):259-266.

Hoelscher, D. M., et al. (2002). Designing effective nutrition interventions for adolescents. J Am Diet Assoc, 102(3 Suppl): S52-63.

Huang, T. T. & Goran, M.I. (2003). Prevention of type 2 diabetes in young people: a theoretical perspective. Pediatr Diabetes, 4(1): 38-56.

Hueston, W.J. & Hubbard, E.T. (2000) Preventive services for rural and urban African-American adults. Arch Fam Med, 9:263-266.

Jenum, A. K., et al. (2006). Promoting physical activity in a low-income multiethnic district: effects of a community intervention study to reduce risk factors for type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease: a community intervention reducing inactivity. Diabetes Care, 29(7): 1605-12.

Kirk, J.K., et al. (2005). A qualitative review of studies of diabetes preventive care among minority patients in the United States, 1993-2003. Am J Manag Care. 11(6):349-360.

Macaulay, A. C., et al. (1997). The Kahnawake Schools Diabetes Prevention Project: intervention, evaluation, and baseline results of a diabetes primary prevention program with a native community in Canada. Prev Med, 26(6): 779-90.

Malasanos, T. H., et al. (2005). School nurse, family and provider connectivity in the FITE diabetes project. J Telemed Telecare, 11 Suppl 1: 76-8.

McKenzie, S.B., O'Connell, J., Smith, L.A., & Ottinger, W.E. (1994). A primary intervention program (pilot study) for Mexican American children at risk for type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Educ, 24(2):180-187.

McNabb, W.L., Quinn, M.T., Murphy, D.M., Thorp, F.K., & Cook, S. (1994). Increasing children's responsibility for diabetes self-care: the In Control study. Diabetes Educ, 20(2):121-124.

Oladele, C.R. & Barnett, E. (2006). Racial/Ethnic and social class differences in preventive care practices among persons with diabetes. BMC Public Health, 19(6):259-266.

Piette, J. D. (1997). Moving diabetes management from clinic to community: development of a prototype based on automated voice messaging. Diabetes Educ, 23(6): 672-80.

National Center for Cultural Competence. The Compelling Need for Cultural and Linguistic Competence. Retrieved February 12, 2009, from http://www11.georgetown.edu/research/gucchd/nccc/foundations/need.html.

Reichsman, A., Werner, J., Cella, P., Bobiak, S., & Stange, K.C. (2009). Opportunities for improved diabetes care among patients of safety net practices: a safety net providers' strategic alliance study. J Natl Med Assoc, 101(1):4-11.

Ritchie, L. D., et al. (2003). Prevention of type 2 diabetes in youth: etiology, promising interventions and recommendations. Pediatr Diabetes, 4(4): 174-209.

Satin, W.,  et al. (1989). Diabetes in adolescence: effects of multifamily group intervention and parent simulation of diabetes. J Pediatr Psychol, 14(2): 259-75.

Satterfield, D.W., et al. (2003). Community-based lifestyle interventions to prevent type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Care. 26(9):2643-2652.

Schillinger, D., et al. (2002). Association of health literacy with diabetes outcomes .JAMA, 288:475-482.

Schraer, C. D., et al. (2001). The Alaska Native diabetes program. Int J Circumpolar Health 60(4): 487-94.

Siminerio, L. M., et al. (2005). Implementing the chronic care model for improvements in diabetes care and education in a rural primary care practice. Diabetes Educ 31(2): 225-34.

Simmons, D., et al. (1996). A pilot diabetes awareness and exercise programme in a multiethnic workforce. N Z Med J, 109(1031): 373-6.

Teufel, N. I. and Ritenbaugh, C.K. (1998). Development of a primary prevention program: insight gained in the Zuni Diabetes Prevention Program. Clin Pediatr, 37(2): 131-41.

Teutsch, C. (2003). Patient-doctor communication. Med Clin North Am, 87(5): 1115-45.

Thomas, J. (2002). Nutrition intervention in ethnic minority groups. Proc Nutr Soc, 61(4): 559-67.

Turrell, G., et al. (2002). Socioeconomic differences in food purchasing behaviour and suggested implications for diet-related health promotion. J Hum Nutr Diet, 15(5): 355-64.

Wahlqvist, M.L. & Saviage, G.S. (2000). Interventions aimed at dietary and lifestyle changes to promote healthy aging. Eur J Clin Nutr, 54 Suppl 3:S148-156.

printer-friendly Printer-friendly version