"Diabetes is my companion": lifestyle and self-management among good and poor control Mexican diabetic patients

Soc Sci Med. 2007 Jun;64(11):2223-35. doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2007.02.001. Epub 2007 Mar 26.


This paper identifies naturally occurring lifestyle and self-care practices in managing type 2 diabetes mellitus that are associated with good glycemic control. In-depth, qualitative interviews were conducted in Guadalajara, Mexico, with 31 matched pairs of good and poor control diabetic patients (n=62), who were matched on their duration of disease and use of medications. While many themes were listed by both groups, a comparison of the responses indicated that themes of daily exercise with a preference for walking, eating beef and milk rather than chicken and fish, economic issues, and emotional issues distinguished poor-control patients. Good-control patients were more likely to have a negative reaction to their initial diagnosis, take a more comprehensive approach to control, eat only two meals a day (plus snacks), use noncaloric beverages to satisfy desires for more food, and know what their blood sugar levels should be.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Blood Glucose Self-Monitoring
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2*
  • Female
  • Hispanic Americans
  • Humans
  • Life Style*
  • Male
  • Mexico
  • Middle Aged
  • Self Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States