Does Length of Relationship or Gender Predict Response to Behavioral Diabetes Intervention? Generating Hypotheses From Secondary Analysis of a Randomized Trial


Relationships, Diabetes, Gender



The purpose of the study was to determine, through secondary analysis, whether the length of a couple’s relationship and the participants’ gender are associated with glycemic response to a type 2 diabetes (T2D) behavioral couples-based intervention.


A randomized trial was conducted to test the impact of a couples-level, telephone-based behavioral intervention on hemoglobin A1C in patients with T2D. One hundred and four patients and partners participated in the couples intervention arm, and 94 individuals participated in the individual arm. A1C levels were measured at baseline and 1-year follow-up.


Results of the regression analysis showed that for men with T2D (n = 35) in the couples intervention group, longer length of relationship was associated with lower A1C at 1-year follow-up, after controlling for baseline A1C, diabetes duration, and income. Length of relationship was not significantly related to follow-up glycemic measures for women or men with T2D in the individual intervention.


Study findings suggests that for men with T2D in a couples-based intervention, those in longer relationships may be more likely to benefit from the intervention. More research is needed to better understand factors that contribute to successful couples-based behavioral approaches to help adults with T2D improve their glycemic control.

Original Publication Citation

Sandberg, J., Yorgason, J.B., Fisher, L., Weinstock, R.S., Hessler, D., Dimmock, J., & Trief, P. (2017). Does length of relationship or gender predict response to behavioral diabetes intervention? Generating hypotheses from secondary analysis of a randomized trial. The Diabetes Educator, 43, 216-222. doi:10.1177/0145721717691147

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date


Permanent URL


The Diabetes Educator




Family, Home, and Social Sciences


Family Life

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor