Comparing diabetes self-care activities and health promotion lifestyles among South Asian women with new and established Type 2 Diabetes diagnoses


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Abstract The South Asian population is one of the fastest growing minority groups in the US, has a high prevalence of diabetes mellitus and the highest rate of cardiovascular disease in the world. Although men and women are equally affected, women tend to have poorer outcomes. Yet little is known of their diabetes self-care activities and health promotion practices. The purpose of this study was to explore differences and similarities in diabetes self-care practices and health promotion lifestyles between South Asian women (Bangladeshis, Indians and Pakistanis) with newly diagnosed diabetes (within 1 year) and those with an established diagnosis (more than 1 year). A cross-sectional descriptive comparative design was utilized with a convenience sample of 60 South Asian women (30 for each group) attending various religious facilities, a local business and a health clinic. Data was collected by survey method using a demographic questionnaire, a measure of health promotion (HPLP II) and the Summary of Diabetes Self Care Activities (SDSCA). Data was analyzed by descriptive analysis, analyses of covariance (ANCOVA) and Pearson partial correlation. Study findings found no significant differences in diabetic self-care activities and health promoting lifestyle changes between the two groups. Both groups scored low on nutrition and physical activity with indications for linkages to cultural practices. Those who were partnered did better than those without partners in both groups. Diabetes self-care management of South Asian women should emphasis the importance of diet and exercise and consider the effects of culture in planning individualized care.