206793 Interrupted Lives: An Exploratory Study of Self-Management of Diabetes Mellitus among African American Women

Monday, November 9, 2009

Bridgett Rahim-Williams, MA, MPH, PhD , Department of Behavioral Science and Community Health, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
Ruth P. Wilson, PhD , Department of African-American Studies, San Josť State University, San Josť, CA
Terry Mills , Morehouse College, Atlanta, GA
Among African Americans, behaviors and beliefs about management of disease constitute an important component of diabetes mellitus self-management. This study investigated divergence and convergence of patients' beliefs and behaviors with recommendations by diabetes educators. Twenty-five, community-dwelling, African American women age 46-87 with diabetes mellitus, completed semi-structured, in-depth interviews, a diabetes self-management questionnaire, and a demographic profile. Participants were asked about nutritional changes, physical activity, medication use, blood glucose monitoring, physician-patient interaction, support systems, and patient education/knowledge. Women reported exercise, medications, and dietary modifications as core components of diabetes self-management. Successful self-management depended upon beliefs, types of behavioral strategies utilized and available support. Barriers to access, costs of medications, testing supplies, pain, and referral to classes were among factors contributing to interrupted lives in diabetes self-management. Findings indicate that socio-cultural, structural and environmental factors support or impede participants' self-management of clinically recommended behaviors producing models of interruption to the self-management regimen.

Learning Objectives:
To identify barriers to diabetes self-care and management among African American women

Keywords: Diabetes, Self-Management

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Research
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.