Purpose: To examine self-care for diabetes in the incarcerated population within the framework of the Rediscovery of Self-Care (RSC), a newly developed care model for persons with incarceration experience

Organizing Construct: Diabetes is a chronic illness that requires the development and use complex self-care management skills. The RSC is a strengths-based model promoting the belief that inmate- patients are capable of re-discovering their own strengths for self-care.

Findings: Persons with an incarceration experience have person and environment exposures that reduce their self-care capabilities for diabetes. Using a clinical case management approach, clinicians can assist incarcerated persons with re-entry and re-integration into the community by decreasing vulnerabilities and promoting adaptation, self direction, and the re-discovery of self-care for diabetes.

Conclusions: Incarcerated persons with diabetes have numerous multilevel challenges to engage in diabetes self-care resulting in risk for poor health outcomes while in prison and upon re-entry into the community. Clinicians using the RSC can improve diabetes-related and re-entry outcomes for incarcerated persons.

Clinical Relevance: Theory-based approaches for guiding nursing practice and research in the area of self-care management for this vulnerable population are lacking.

Key words: Inmates, incarceration, self-care, diabetes, self-management


University of Connecticut School of Nursing 231 Glenbrook Road Storrs, CT 06269-2026

Postdoctoral Research Fellow New York University College of Nursing 726 Broadway New York, New York 10003