Purpose: The purpose of this study was to identify the cultural values, traditions, and perceptions of diabetes risk and self-care among Filipino Americans in Hawaii with type 2 diabetes that facilitate or impede engagement in diabetes self-management behaviors and education classes.
Methods: This qualitative study used 2 rounds of semistructured focus groups and interviews. Participants included 15 patients with type 2 diabetes recruited from a large health-maintenance organization in Hawaii and 7 health care and cultural experts recruited from the community. The taped and transcribed focus groups and interviews were coded thematically. Participants evaluated example materials for diabetes self-management education (DSME) with Filipino Americans.
Results: Several aspects of Filipino American culture were identified as central to understanding the challenges of engaging in self-management behaviors and DSME: (1) undertaking self-management while prioritizing the family and maintaining social relationships, (2) modifying diet while upholding valued symbolic and social meanings of food, (3) participating in storytelling in the face of stigma associated with diabetes, and (4) reconciling spiritual and biomedical interpretations of disease causality and its management. Respondents also emphasized the role of several qualitative aspects of perceived risk (eg, dread, control) in moderating their behaviors. Participants suggested ways to make DSME culturally relevant.
Conclusions: Awareness of cultural values and qualitative aspects of perceived risk that influence Filipino Americans' engagement in diabetes self-care behaviors and classes may help to improve teaching methods, materials, and recruitment strategies.