Family interventions for adults living with type 2 diabetes mellitus: A qualitative meta-synthesis

Lorraine M. Thirsk, Kara Schick-Makaroff

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: Review and synthesize qualitative research on family interventions for adults living with type 2 diabetes. Methods: A qualitative metasynthesis was conducted. Analysis used imported concepts from realist evaluation – context, mechanisms, and outcomes. Results: Six studies met inclusion criteria in this qualitative systematic review. Powerful mechanisms were identified that occur outside the family intervention in the context of ethnic, racialized, and geographically defined groups. Many similarities were noted across contexts, such as low income. Mechanisms of interventions focused primarily on family member education. Outcomes were focused more on improving self-care behaviors, rather than family-oriented outcomes. Conclusion: Systemic issues affecting social determinants of health set the context for family interventions for type 2 diabetes. When designing these interventions, intersectionality, scarcity, and family functioning may need to be considered. Practice implications: Emphasis on education of family members may not be effective in improving diabetes outcomes, as many powerful mechanisms exist outside of these interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2890-2899
Number of pages10
JournalPatient Education and Counseling
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec. 2021


  • Family interventions
  • Qualitative metasynthesis
  • Qualitative research
  • Type 2 diabetes


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