Differences in diabetes perceptions found among at-risk groups

Mon, 20 Apr 2015
Different perceptions of diabetes among adult populations at risk of the disease could lead to new approaches on diabetes-related education and prevention.

This follows a study from New York University College of Nursing, who evaluated 372 adult patients classed as at risk of developing diabetes.

A questionnaire was completed by participants to assess their general diabetes knowledge, before they were tested on eight perceptions of diabetes illness.

Differences among these areas were observed alongside whether diabetes risk factors among the participants were present or absent.

Perceptions of diabetes

Those without a first-degree relative that had diabetes were less concerned they might have diabetes, and also understood diabetes poorly.

Among those with a BMI of 25 kg/m2 or over, the belief was that they may understand diabetes more upon developing it, but demonstrated a greater understanding of diabetes compared to those with a lower BMI.

Participants of Latino ethnicity were more concerned they might have diabetes, while at-risk races such as black, Native American and Asian participants believed that treatment would help manage diabetes should they develop it.

Lead author and Associate Professor of Nursing Dr Shiela Strauss, concluded: "We found that there are differences in the perceptions of those who are at risk for diabetes that depend on the specific characteristics that place them at risk."

"It is important for diabetes educators to recognize that these differences exist and to incorporate these differences in their patient education. It's not one size fits all," Strauss added.

The results of this study were published in the journal The Diabetes Educator.
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