Date of Conferral
Doctor of Public Health (DrPH)
The purpose of this study was to gain insight into the risk within the African American population of developing diabetes, its complications, and the benefits associated with timely management and treatment of diabetes. The study also looked at how such knowledge may be related to preventive health behaviors. The Risk Perception Survey-Developing Diabetes and the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System questionnaires were employed in this study. The theoretical basis of this study was the health belief model. This was a cross sectional, quantitative study with 126 participants. Descriptive analysis was employed to calculate the mean scores and frequencies across each sub-scale of the scoring tool. Among the participants, only 28.57% were found to be knowledgeable of the risk factors of diabetes, and 74.60% were found to be knowledgeable of the benefits of treating diabetes. Although 75.40%, 61.11%, and 64.29% of participants were found to be knowledgeable of healthy dieting, physical exercise, and body weight control, respectively, fewer than 10% in each group indicated they had implemented any of such behaviors. These data suggest a lack of knowledge of the risk factors of diabetes amongst this population. These results remained unchanged even when considering those with diabetes and their counterparts without the disease separately and also across the different socio-economic groups of the sample. The outcomes of this study may enhance understanding of diabetes among the African American population. Similarly, the above findings might be able to facilitate interventions that promote diabetes management within this population.