The Feasibility and Acceptability of a Diabetes Survival Skills Intervention for Persons Transitioning from Prison to the Community

Louise Reagan, Rick Laguerre, Sarah Todd, Colleen Gallagher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Community evidenced-based diabetes self-management education (DSME) models have not been examined for feasibility, acceptability, or effectiveness among persons transitioning from prison to the community to independent diabetes self-management (DSM). In a non-equivalent control group design with repeated measures, we examined the feasibility, acceptability, and preliminary effect of a 6-week, 1-h per week Diabetes Survival Skills (DSS) intervention on diabetes knowledge, distress, self-efficacy, and outcome expectancy for transitioning incarcerated males. Of the 92 participants (84% T2D, 83% using insulin, 40% Black, 20% White, 30% Latino, 66% high school or less, mean age 47.3 years, 84% length of incarceration ≤4 years), 41 completed the study (22 control/19 intervention [TX]). One-way repeated measures ANOVAs revealed significant changes in diabetes knowledge within each group (C, p =.002; TX, p =.027) at all time points; however, a two-way repeated measures ANOVA showed no differences between groups. Additionally, both groups showed improvement in diabetes-related distress and outcome expectancy with the treatment group experiencing greater and sustained improvement at the 12-week time point. Analysis of focus group data (Krippendorf) revealed acceptance of and enthusiasm for the DSS training and low literacy education materials, the need for skill demonstration, and ongoing support throughout incarceration and before release. Our results highlight the complexity of working with incarcerated populations. After most of the sessions, we observed some information sharing between the intervention and the control groups on what they did in their respective sessions. Due to high attrition, the power to detect effects was limited. Yet, results suggest that the intervention is feasible and acceptable with an increased sample size and refined recruitment procedure.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities
StateAccepted/In press - 2023


  • Acceptability
  • Community
  • Diabetes Survival Skills (DSS)
  • Feasibility
  • Incarceration
  • Transitioning


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