Diabetes management interventions for homeless adults: a systematic review

Constance, Janice and Lusher, Joanne (2020) Diabetes management interventions for homeless adults: a systematic review. International Journal of Public Health, 65 (9). pp. 1773-1783. ISSN 1661-8564


Recent studies investigating diabetes show that inequalities to access appropriate care still persists. Whilst most of the general population are able to access a suitable quality of care, there are a number of groups who fail to receive the same standard. The objective of this review was to identify existing diabetes management interventions for homeless adults.

A literature search was conducted in February 2017, and repeated in September 2020.

Of the 223 potentially relevant articles identified, only 26 were retrieved for detailed evaluation, and 6 met the inclusion criteria. Papers focusing on the management of diabetes in homeless people were included. The studies used interventions including diabetes education; medication support and supplies for blood monitoring; improvements in self-care behaviours; improvements in diabetes control; patient empowerment/engagement; and community engagement/partnerships.

Effective strategies for addressing the challenges and obstacles that the homeless population face, requires innovative, multi-sectored, flexible and well-coordinated models of care. Without appropriate support, these groups of people are prone to experience poor control of their diabetes; resulting in an increased risk of developing major health complications.

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