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Health Education and Promotion


Deneen N. Long-White


AbstractDiabetes is one of the leading killer diseases globally, and it is on the rise, especially in developing countries like Nigeria. The high prevalence of undiagnosed Type 2 diabetes in developing African countries has been attributed to a lack of knowledge and awareness about the disease, unbelief in modern healthcare efficacy, and limited healthcare services access. The purpose of this study was to explore the knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs about Type 2 diabetes among pensioners in Nigeria. A qualitative phenomenological research design was used for the study. The constructs of the health belief model formed the study’s theoretical framework. Data were collected through individual telephone interviews in English and Igbo languages with five men and five women who responded to unstructured and open-ended questions. The data were hand-coded to identify patterns, categories, and themes. A multistep sequence was used in conducting the inductive thematic analysis of the data. The findings showed that respondents lacked knowledge about Type 2 diabetes and its long-term health effects; were unaware of the importance of reading food labels and checking blood sugar levels daily; had a negative attitude towards Type 2 diabetes; and exhibited strong spiritual, religious, and cultural beliefs about the disease. The findings were the basis for health education recommendations, the implementation of which have positive social change implications at the individual and societal levels. The recommendations may also empower people living with Type 2 diabetes by increasing their knowledge about the disease, improve diabetes self-care activities, reduce diabetes-related hospitalizations, and improve societal health outcomes.