Rochester Healthy Community Partnership of Rochester, MN
Improving the health of underserved populations through proven methods and new ideas
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Diabetes Knowledge, Attitudes and Behaviors Among Somali and Latino Immigrants

Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health. (2016 ) 18(6): 1432-1440.

Background: Persons from Somalia constitute the largest group of immigrants and refugees from Africa among whom diabetes-related health disparities are well documented.

Methods: As one of the first steps toward developing a behavioral intervention to address diabetes among Somali immigrants and refugees, we administered a face to face interview-based survey to Somali and Latino adults with diabetes in a single community to assess diabetes knowledge, attitudes and behaviors.

Results: Respondents (N = 78) reported several barriers to optimal diabetes management for physical activity and glucose self-monitoring, as well as a high burden of disease and negative perceptions of diabetes. High participant engagement in disease management, self-efficacy, and social support were important assets. Similarities suggest that the shared experiences of immigration and related systemic socioeconomic and linguistic factors play a significant role in the understanding and self-management of diabetes in these populations.

Conclusion: Together with previously collected qualitative work, the survey findings will inform development of a behavioral intervention to improve outcomes and reduce diabetes-related health disparities among immigrant and refugee groups to the U.S.

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Nate Nordstrom