Purpose: The purpose of the study is to explore African American men's perceptions of how community-based, community-health worker (CHW)-delivered diabetes interventions might best be implemented.
Methods: Four 90-minute focus groups were guided by a trained moderator with a written guide to facilitate discussion on the topic of diabetes management and preferences for community-based programs. Participants were recruited from the diabetes education database at a safety-net health system in Jefferson County, AL. Two independent reviewers performed content analysis to identify major themes using an iterative, combined deductive and inductive approach.
Results: There were 25 male participants. Mean years living with diabetes was 9.6 (range, 1-20). Participants demonstrated knowledge of self-management strategies and identified various hardships including emotional and physical manifestations of diabetes, dietary restrictions, and institutional frustrations with the health system that contributed to self-management barriers. Their preferred CHW responsibilities were to educate, hold support groups, help track daily activities, and help find resources. Potential concerns included the need for confidentiality and fears of being stereotyped.
Conclusions: Participants identified critical self-management strategies but endure hardships that present barriers to daily diabetes management. Preferences for community-based programs and suggested CHW responsibilities could help to overcome many of those barriers by increasing access and providing support.
© 2014 The Author(s).