270345 Diabetes in the Hmong population: Engaging community, health care providers and intermediaries to develop strategies for best practices in effective diabetes management

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Sua Yang, BA, RN , School of Nursing, Samuel Merritt University, Oakland, CA
Patricia Wakimoto, DrPH, RD , Chori, Childrens Hospital & Research Centers Oakland, Oakland, CA
Ethnic minorities continue to be affected by preventable and manageable chronic diseases like diabetes, at disproportionate rates. Cultural and language barriers are common issues preventing successful intervention. The active and appropriate use of medical interpreters can assist in meeting the needs of the client. The aims were to 1) identify cultural and language barriers to effective diabetes management and 2) identify the challenges obstructing effective communication between health providers, interpreters, and Hmong patients. Focus groups were conducted in the Central Valley, CA. Participants (n=62) included Hmong health interpreters, young Hmong adults and community members. Informant interviews (n= 8) included clinicians and practitioners working with immigrant Hmong and other Southeast Asian groups. Knowledge and experiences encompassing the disease process, prevention, and management were assessed. Key informants were asked to address issues including experiences and challenges surrounding diabetes education, management with immigrant patient populations, and factors which predicted success and failure with disease management. Results indicated lack of transferable vocabulary and not necessarily a “language barrier”. There is considerable need for developing culturally relevant interventions to promote health, manage and prevent chronic diseases. Health care professionals need to articulate the cause of diabetes and the importance of consistent diets, medication, and healthy bodyweight with diabetes management in a culturally relevant way. It is critical for the provider to recognize existing communication barriers between not only provider and patient, but also provider and interpreter. These results have implications for design of successful chronic disease management strategies for implementation in the larger immigrant community.

Learning Areas:
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Chronic disease management and prevention
Diversity and culture
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
1) Identify communication barriers to effective diabetes management in the Hmong immigrant population. 2) Describe effective communication strategies between health care practitioners, health interpreters and the Hmong immigrant patient that support successful diabetes management.

Keywords: Immigrants, Health Promotion

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I designed and conducted the research represented in this abstract.
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.