Diabetes self-management: perspectives of Latino patients and their health care providers

Patient Educ Couns. 2007 May;66(2):202-10. doi: 10.1016/j.pec.2006.12.003. Epub 2007 Feb 27.


Lifestyle modification programs tailored to experience, culture, psychosocial characteristics, and world-view can improve knowledge, self-care behaviors, and glucose control among Latinos with diabetes. Few data exist, however, on improving diabetes self-management among Latinos. In addition, views and practices of practitioners caring for these patients have received little attention.

Objective: This study describes findings from qualitative research to inform the refinement of self-management interventions tailored to Latino patients with type 2 diabetes.

Methods: Two practitioner focus groups assessed perceptions of patients' knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors. Four patient focus groups examined knowledge, beliefs, practices, barriers, and facilitators. Data were transcribed and subjected to content analysis.

Results: Thirty-seven patients seeking care at a community clinic participated, along with 15 health care practitioners. Important knowledge gaps regarding diabetes causation and self-management were identified. Negative attitudes towards self-management were common among patients. Key facilitators included strong religious faith and support of medical practitioners. Families both facilitated and prevented adoption of self-management practices.

Conclusion: This study provides unique insights into the knowledge, attitudes, practices, and perceived barriers facing Latino patients and their providers regarding diabetes self-management.

Practice implications: Study findings underscore the need to develop tailored programs for this population and to train practitioners on their implementation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Attitude of Health Personnel / ethnology*
  • Attitude to Health / ethnology*
  • Communication Barriers
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / ethnology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / prevention & control
  • Educational Measurement
  • Family / ethnology
  • Female
  • Focus Groups
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Hispanic or Latino / education
  • Hispanic or Latino / ethnology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Massachusetts
  • Middle Aged
  • Needs Assessment
  • Negativism
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Puerto Rico / ethnology
  • Qualitative Research
  • Religion and Psychology
  • Self Care / methods
  • Self Care / psychology*
  • Social Support