Barriers and Enablers to Self-management Strategies of Type Two Diabetes Among Sudanese Adults

By: Phoebe Roth   Sabrina Gupta   Clarice Y Tang   Bruce Rumbold  

Type Two Diabetes (T2D) is a global epidemic, with increased prevalence among Sudanese adults residing in Western developed nations. Australia’s diabetes policy emphasises self-management, but provides little insight into how this policy might apply to the many immigrant and refugee communities that make up Australia’s diverse population. The primary aim of this study is to explore the knowledge and perceptions around management of T2D among Sudanese adults with T2D living in Victoria, Australia. This qualitative study utilises a constructionist approach. Sudanese adults who self-identified as having T2D were recruited from the community. A face-to-face semi-structured interview was conducted with each participant. Thematic analyses were performed on the data. Results: 12 participants were included in the study. All participants were engaged in some form of self-management for their T2D. Through analysis of the data, several barriers to and enablers of optimal self-management of T2D were identified. Barriers included lack of knowledge on management and possible disease complications, the impact of language in communication, the perceived burden of self-management, incorporating traditional dietary practices in self-management, as well as familial and social obligations. Enablers included positive relationships with health professionals, having support networks, being involved in religious practice, and the use of traditional remedies. The findings highlight the need for Australia’s healthcare governance structures to prioritise culturally appropriate provision of health services and resources for Sudanese patients with T2D. These findings may be generalisable to other minority ethnic groups from migrant and refugee backgrounds in Australia and elsewhere.

Representation, Immigration, Refugees, Communal Identity, Government Policy
Community Diversity and Governance
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Phoebe Roth

La Trobe University, Australia

Phoebe Roth is a health and medical journalist from Melbourne, Australia. She is currently completing her Masters of Public Health at La Trobe University. She is particularly interested in the health of culturally and linguistically diverse groups.

Sabrina Gupta

La Trobe University

Sabrina Gupta is currently employed at La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia and holds the role of associate lecturer in the School of Public Health and Human Biosciences. Sabrina has several years of experience in research and has an interest in migration, ethnicity, lifestyle and chronic disease.

Clarice Y Tang

Lecturer, School of Allied Health

Bruce Rumbold

Senior lecturer, School of Psychology and Public Health