The relatives and partners of people with type 2 diabetes are at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes. This systematic review examines randomized controlled trials, written in English that tested an intervention, which aimed to modify behaviors known to delay or prevent type 2 diabetes, among the relatives or partners of people with type 2 diabetes. Study quality was assessed using the Cochrane Collaboration’s tool for assessing risk of bias. Seven studies met the inclusion criteria. The majority of studies were at low risk of bias. Six studies tested an intervention in first-degree relatives of people with type 2 diabetes and one in partners. Intervention components and intervention intensity across studies varied, with those targeting diet and physical activity reporting the most significant changes in primary outcomes. Only one study did not observe significant changes in primary outcomes. There were three main recruitment approaches: advertising in the community, recruiting people through their relatives with diabetes, or identifying people as high risk by screening of their own health care contacts. Some evidence was found for potentially successful interventions to prevent type 2 diabetes among the relatives and partners of people with type 2 diabetes, although finding simple and effective methods to identify and recruit them remains a challenge. Future studies should explore the effect of patients’ perceptions on their family members’ behavior and capitalize on family relationships in order to increase intervention effectiveness.
- type 2 diabetes, high-risk groups, relatives, review, randomized-controlled trials