A systematic review of research into black and ethnic minority patients' views on self-management of type 2 diabetes

Health Expect. 2015 Oct;18(5):625-42. doi: 10.1111/hex.12080. Epub 2013 May 27.


Context: Eliciting patients' views of type 2 diabetes self-management provides insights on how policy and services might better support the needs of this population.

Objective: To synthesize black and ethnic minority patients' views on the barriers and facilitators influencing the self-management of type 2 diabetes.

Search strategy: A systematic search of international literature published in nine electronic databases was undertaken in 2008. Search strategies used both MeSH and free-text terms. Two relevant journals were also hand searched.

Inclusion criteria: Any primary empirical study published in the English language since 1986 that reported black and ethnic minority patients' views on type 2 diabetes self-management.

Data extraction and synthesis: Data were extracted and study quality was formally assessed. Data were analysed using thematic synthesis.

Main results: Fifty-seven studies were included, of qualitative (n = 54), mixed-method (n = 2) or quantitative (n = 1) design. Studies were from North America (n = 41), Europe (n = 14) and Australia (n = 2), including 1735 participants in total. Three analytical themes emerged: 'Importance of identity'; 'Being understood by others' and 'Making sense of condition', all linked conceptually under the overarching theme 'Sense of self'. The quality of the studies varied.

Discussion and conclusions: The findings provide insight into what black and minority ethnic people regard as the barriers to, and facilitators of self-management, as opposed to what health professionals, policy makers and trial researchers may have assumed. Recognition of the views of people with diabetes is essential for the design and delivery of patient-centred care and policies.

Keywords: ethnicity; minority; qualitative; self-management; systematic review; type 2 diabetes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / ethnology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / therapy
  • Ethnic Groups*
  • Humans
  • Minority Groups*
  • Qualitative Research
  • Self Care / psychology*