The Family Toolbox for people with type 2 diabetes


The Family Toolbox

​​The Family Toolbox has been designed to involve the whole family in patient education programmes and in general communication about type 2 diabetes. 

The tools and methods have been developed in close collaboration with people with type 2 diabetes, their families and healthcare professionals who, in their daily work, are in contact with families who have the disease in their lives.

The tools are intended to support educators' efforts to engage and support families where at least one person has type 2 diabetes – which includes creating an opportunity to prevent type 2 diabetes in the remaining family members. The tools can be used in any existing form for patient education where participants bring family members to the education sessions. Ideally, we recommend creating special family classes where people with type 2 diabetes can participate with their family several times.

The Family Mirror

​Inviting the participants to construct an image of themselves and a family member using cards with pictures and quotes regarding support, everyday life, worries, roles, communication, and knowledge related to life with T2D. This is intended to help participants reflect on and discuss challenges and opportunities in the family. 

A3 sheet : Silhouette of a woman
A3 sheet: Silhouette of a man

The Family Book

​Preparing for interactive reflection on various aspects of daily family life while giving theparticipants practical knowledge and information about T2D. The book can be read at home or used as a communication tool in patient education for families. 

The Family Book

The Family Line

​Enabling family members to show each other how big a part diabetes plays for them in daily life and how big a part diabetes should play, which can initiate dialogue on T2D in daily life. 

A3 sheet: Speech Bubbles Card

The Family Plan

​Enabling the family to identify challenges and solutions related to T2D, and on that basis to establish specific objectives and plans for how they will improve or positively retain important elements in their daily life.

A3 sheet: The Family Plan
A5 sheet: Reflection Card


  1. Grabowski, D., Andersen, T.H., Varming, A., Ommundsen, C. & Willaing, I. (2017) Involvement of family members in life with type 2 diabetes: Six interconnected problem domains of significance for family health identity and healthcare authenticity. Sage Open Medicine, Volume 5, 1-9. DOI: 10.1177/2050312117728654

  2. Grabowski, D., Reino, M.B.R. & Andersen, T.H. (2019) Mutual Involvement in Families Living with Type 2 Diabetes: Using the Family Toolbox to Address Challenges Related to Knowledge, Communication, Support, Role Confusion, Everyday Practices and Mutual Worries. Social Sciences, Volume 8(9), 257.

  3. Grabowski, D. & Andersen, T.H. (2020) Barriers to intra-familial prevention of type 2 diabetes: A qualitative study on horizons of significance and social imaginaries. Chronic Illness, Volume 16, Issue 2, 119-130. DOI: 10.1177/1742395318789464

  4. Andersen, T.H. & Grabowski, D. (2020) Implementing a research-based innovation to generate intra-familial involvement in type 2 diabetes self-management for use in diverse municipal settings: A Qualitative study of barriers and facilitators. BMC Health Services Research. Volume 20, 198.

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