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The Diabetes and the Family program (La Diabetes y La Unión Familiar) combats diabetes through family involvement, teaches supportive behaviors toward the diabetic family member, and encourages healthy choices that will lower their own risk of developing the disease. Created for Hispanic families who are at particular risk for diabetes,1 this program mobilizes promotores de salud (community health workers) to help families prevent and manage diabetes through team building, communication, and planning ahead. The 12-week program consists of an initial home visit, a kick-off event, 5 educational sessions, a graduation celebration, and a follow-up visit. The teaching manual, available in English and Spanish, includes flip charts to introduce key ideas; suggested games, physical activities, and recipes; and worksheets for families to complete together.
The University of Arizona PRC adapted the program from the Border Health Strategic Initiative family curriculum. After having completed the program, families reported exercising more, drinking fewer sweetened beverages, and experiencing greater family solidarity in making healthy choices.2 One study showed that the program resulted in an increased understanding of diabetes risk factors and significant changes in lifestyle behaviors.3 Participants reported that they appreciated the support of class members and felt better prepared to prevent or manage diabetes.4
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Preventing chronic diseases: investing wisely in health, preventing diabetes and its complications. Accessed February 2, 2017.
- Reinschmidt KM, Teufel-Shone NI, Bradford G, et al. Taking a broad approach to public health program adaptation: adapting a family-based diabetes education program. J Prim Prev. 2010;31:69-83.
- Teufel-Shone NI, Drummond R, Rawiel U. Developing and adapting a family-based diabetes program at the U.S.-Mexico border. Prev Chronic Dis. 2005;2(1):1-9.
- Arizona Prevention Research Center. Family Diabetes Education website. http://azprc.arizona.edu/curricula/diabetes-and-family-curriculum-english-version. Accessed February 2, 2017.