Date of Conferral





Public Health


Timothy Radak


Literature has found that some minority groups with diabetes have a negative perception of medical professionals when a health problem occurs. This trend is particularly problematic with the diabetes epidemic in the United States. African Americans are more than 2 times as likely to die from diabetes than are Whites, and diabetes prevalence has increased exponentially in New York City where a majority of Afro-Caribbeans live. To address this problem, a cross-sectional design was used to recruit Afro-Caribbeans diagnosed with type 2 diabetes across 7 churches to examine whether shared knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors about diabetes screening and its complications exist, and whether they would attend a type 2 diabetes class or workshop at their church. A 114-item questionnaire, adapted from reliable and validated national health surveys, was administered to a convenience sample of 67 participants aged 35 to 90 to collect demographic, health, and cultural belief information. The conceptual frameworks of the social ecological and cultural consensus models were used for discovery of social influences and shared knowledge of type 2 diabetes. A cultural consensus analysis of 28 eligible participants was used to infer trustworthy answers to cultural questions. Participants demonstrated an above-average knowledge of type 2 diabetes, with a level of agreement of .52 ('.192 SD); further, 85.2% reported that they would attend a diabetes class or workshop at their church. These findings promote social change by educating Afro-Caribbeans about diabetes, and by facilitating partnerships between churches and doctors. Future community-based research with churches could help to improve glycemic control and delay the onset of type 2 diabetes.