Date of Conferral





Health Services


Robert E. Hoye


African Americans are adversely affected by Type 2 diabetes at a greater rate than their European American counterparts; however, research on the effects of Type 2 diabetes on African Americans is limited. Lifestyle modifications that include the incorporation of physical activity and dietary changes can help patients with Type 2 diabetes better manage their disease and improve their overall quality of health. The purpose of this phenomenological study was to explore the experiences of African Americans with Type 2 diabetes who incorporated these self-management behaviors, discerning if they had improved health and quality of life. The self-efficacy framework was applied to understand the research problem and interpret study results. An in-depth interview protocol was used to explore participants' perspectives and lived experiences in disease management. Interview transcripts and participant data were analyzed using a thematic-content-analysis approach. According to study findings, participants experienced physical activity and dietary changes, and their self-efficacy directly correlated with their experience of positive changes in their health status. Providing programs that support the adoption of healthy lifestyles for this population will help mitigate the later effects of diabetic complications. Implications for social change include the provision of strategies that will help in formulating programs and policies that will reduce diabetic complications and deaths due to complications.