Anglia Ruskin University

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Barriers to diabetes awareness and self-help are influenced by people’s demographics: Perspectives of South Asians with type 2 diabetes

journal contribution
posted on 2023-09-01, 14:14 authored by Shahina Pardhan, Georgina Nakafero, Rajiv Raman, Raju Sapkota
Aim: To determine whether barriers to diabetes awareness and self-help differ in South Asian participants of different demographic characteristics (age, gender, and literacy) with type 2 diabetes living in the United Kingdom. Methods: Six focus group discussions (FGDs) were carried out in patients who were categorized according to age (30-60 years, ≥60 years), gender (male, female) and literacy status (literate, illiterate). Data were analysed following the iterative process of thematic analysis techniques. Results: Barriers were demographic-specific. The illiterate groups reported language as the major barrier to improved diabetes awareness and self-help. The literate groups reported that information provided by healthcare providers was general, and not specific to their diet/culture. Major barriers to adherence to the recommended diet for diabetes included: insufficient knowledge/awareness about nutritional content of food (all groups); lack of self-will to resist eating sweets, especially during weddings/festivals (literate older groups/literate younger females/illiterate older males); difficulty cooking separate meals for diabetic and non-diabetic family members (illiterate/literate older females). Other barriers to seeking advice/help ranged from not wanting to disclose their diabetes as it may affect employment/work (literate groups) to fear of being singled out at social gatherings (illiterate groups). General lack of motivation to exercise was reported by all groups. Time constraints and not knowing what/how to exercise was reported by literate younger groups whilst the illiterate older groups reported to not having suitable exercising facilities at local communities. Different barriers were also reported when accessing healthcare; language barriers (illiterate groups), restricted access to doctors’ appointments/difficulty attending specific appointment slots offered by General Practitioners (literate females). Conclusion: Different barriers exist to improved awareness about diabetes and self-help in different patient demographics. Lack of culturally appropriate diabetes educational/awareness programs in the community appeared to be a major barrier in most older and illiterate participants while younger participants reported time constraint.



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Ethnicity and Health




Taylor & Francis

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  • eng

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ARCHIVED Faculty of Medical Science (until September 2018)

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