Learning Objective 1: Recognize the importance of family social support in care to people with diabetes mellitus.
Learning Objective 2: Know that educational interventions with the involvement of the family contribute to the reduction of glycated hemoglobin.
Methods: Pilot study of a randomized controlled clinical trial in a sample of 46 patients under outpatient follow-up. The sample was subdivided in two groups, with similar gender and age characteristics. The two groups participated in an educative program, which served as the base for the interventions involving a family member indicated by the patient. Educative interventions were conducted according to the theoretical premises of the Cognitive-Behavioral Approach. Interventions for family members were undertaken through programmed telephone contact. The outcome variables were: fasting plasma glucose, glycated hemoglobin, total cholesterol and fractions, triglycerides, urea and creatinine, evaluated before the interventions (baseline evaluation=T0), at six months (evaluation six months later=T6) and 12 months after its start (evaluation after 12 months=T12). The study received approval from the Research Ethics Committee at the University of São Paulo at Ribeirão Preto School of Medicine Hospital das Clínicas, and was registered in the Clinical Trials database.
Results: In total, 63% of participants were female and 37% male, with a mean age of 61 years (standard deviation - SD=9.6), six years of education (SD=4.1) and diagnosis time 16.4 years of disease (SD=7.4). Considering p<0.05, the mean glycated hemoglobin dropped by 0.4% at T6 and 0.6% at T12 when compared to T0. The remaining variables showed a slight decrease, but without statistical significance.
Conclusion: The results suggest that developing educative interventions that involve family SS may have contributed to improve metabolic control in the study sample. Although no statistically significant difference was found between the groups for most metabolic control parameters, it can be confirmed that SS is of clinical importance.