Background: Support from care partners (CPs) , family or friends who are involved in diabetes management, is associated with improved self-management and clinical outcomes for adults with type 2 diabetes (T2D) .Therefore, guidelines recommend active CP involvement in diabetes self-management education and support (DSMES) . Telemedicine is increasingly being used to deliver DSMES and may facilitate CP involvement.

Objective: To examine the frequency and type of CP involvement in virtual DSMES sessions delivered to patients in their homes over 12 months as part of the Telemedicine for Reach, Education, Access, Treatment, and Ongoing Support study, designed to evaluate the impact of longitudinal DSMES conducted via videoconferencing.

Methods: 43 patients with T2D and an HbA1c>9% were enrolled from rural federally qualified health centers. A diabetes care and education specialist (DCES) performed an initial in-person needs assessment, followed by individualized virtual DSMES sessions via videoconferencing over 12 months. Participants were surveyed on the presence and roles of CPs at baseline, and DCES recorded CP involvement at each DSMES session. Twenty participants identified a diabetes CP at baseline; 75% lived with their CP and 60% of CPs were the patient’s significant other. Patients reported that CPs regularly helped with self-management by encouraging healthy eating (80%) , medication adherence (70%) , and discussing home blood glucose results (70%) . Nine participants had a CP involved in at least one virtual DSMES session; CPs performed diverse functions, including assisting with technology, setting up continuous glucose monitors, reviewing nutrition recommendations, and facilitating information sharing between participants and DCES.

Conclusions and Future Direction: For adults with T2D, virtual visits offer opportunities for CPs to support and enhance DSMES. Efforts to more actively engage existing CPs could better leverage this resource to support ongoing diabetes self-management.


M.Zupa: None. P.A.Johnson: None. J.S.Krall: Research Support; Becton, Dickinson and Company, Sanofi. J.Ng: Research Support; Sanofi. S.L.Reynolds: None. A.Rosland: None. L.M.Siminerio: Advisory Panel; Abbott, Bayer AG, Research Support; Becton, Dickinson and Company, Sanofi.


NIDDK (R34DK123370) NCATS (TR001856)

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