Date of Conferral





Public Health


Jeanne Connors


The Hispanic population has a higher incidence of diabetes and poorer health outcomes compared to other populations in the United States. Although previous research has reported that cultural and ethnic beliefs play a role in poorer diabetes self-management by Hispanic individuals, limited studies have been focused on the barriers to self-management from the perspectives of Hispanic immigrants. The purpose of this qualitative study was to gain an understanding, through oral history narrative, of the experiences of Hispanic immigrants living with diabetes. In this study, the influence of cultural and ethnic beliefs on diabetes self-management in Hispanic immigrants in the Bronx in New York was explored. Semistructured interviews were conducted with 7 Hispanic immigrants who narrated their lived experiences regarding how they self-manage their conditions. The theory of reasoned action/theory of planned behavior guided this research. Data from in-depth interviews were coded and analyzed for themes. Six themes emerged from these interviews: knowledge of diabetes, diabetes self-management, strong cultural beliefs, social support, lifestyle changes, and strong cultural influence on diabetes management. The results from this study can lead to social change by providing information to health care providers and policy makers who need to deliver culturally sensitive education to both diabetic individuals and their families, which can help in the self-management of the disease.