Aims: We carried out a survey of important nonclinical issues including awareness and self-management of diabetes on a group of South Asian and Caucasian patients attending diabetic clinics within a set period.
Methods: A structured questionnaire examined various issues including demographics, perceived knowledge and awareness of diabetes, perceived self-help/support, and psycho-social factors. A total of 500 patients (268 South Asians and 232 Caucasian) took part.
Results: Univariate analysis showed significant differences (P<0.05) with various issues including a lower perceived awareness of diabetes and its complications in South Asians, and of the nutritional content of their diet. Asians also appeared to be less worried in the event of missed clinical appointments and if treatment was not strictly adhered to.
Conclusions: The study provides evidence of the inability of health information systems to convey the importance of diabetic control to the Asian population. In order that this important information reaches the required recipients, more assertive and perhaps more culturally acceptable methods need to be explored.