Ethnic identity and type 2 diabetes health attitudes in Americans of African ancestry.
BACKGROUND: Exploring the role of ethnic identity may be a good starting point toward a better understanding of health attitudes in different communities. This knowledge would be most useful in addressing diseases that cause significant burden and for which known prevention and morbidity-reducing strategies are effective. OBJECTIVE: The main objective was to investigate possible associations between measures of ethnic identity and health attitudes toward type 2 diabetes mellitus by using a questionnaire-based measure. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Attitudes measured included personal perception of susceptibility to type 2 diabetes, awareness of predisposing risk factors, and intrafamilial communication about one's diabetes diagnosis and health problems. PARTICIPANTS AND SETTING: Our convenience sample consisted of Americans of African descent (N=37) who were either outpatients or their friends/relatives waiting for a clinical appointment at Howard University Family Health Clinic. RESULTS: Statistically significant correlations were found between sense of ethnic identity and awareness of risk factors (Pearson's r=.48), willingness to share personal diabetes diagnosis (r=.63), and willingness to discuss personal health with family [analysis of variance (F=8.27, P=.001, r= .46)]. CONCLUSIONS: The data suggest that family-based communication about health, intrafamilial sharing of diabetes diagnosis, and sense of ethnic identity may have complementary effects. This finding may be helpful in organizing more effective and culturally sensitive delivery of health services to communities at high risk for diabetes.
Brezo, J; Royal, C; Ampy, F; Headings, V
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