The psychological stress stemming from a diagnosis of a chronic condition such as diabetes can be overwhelming. Stress can inhibit the ability to follow self-management advice. Healthcare professionals have recognized the important role that religion and/or spirituality plays in perceptions of health/disease and healing.
Churches and other faith-based settings offer locations where people traditionally trust the information provided. The shared confidence in messages and efforts initiated or supported by local faith-based communities can be powerful. Group programs and cooking facilities available in these settings can also provide opportunities to educate diabetics about making nutritious food choices, and may serve as a source of social support for the adoption of healthy lifestyle behaviors.
Faith-based community programming involving community outreach, screening, and diabetes education programs can be effective when used with populations that have a strong sense of spiritual or religious belonging. Culturally competent care for different populations requires sensitivity to spirituality as a component of the individual's cultural identity.
Venues such as the YMCA or churches have been known to facilitate faith-based interventions. These are examples of community venues that can work with diabetes programs to effectively reach different community groups.