Date of Conferral
Type 2 diabetes is a chronic metabolic disorder and the seventh leading cause of death in the United States. Type 2 diabetes is linked to many chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease, stroke, and chronic kidney failure. African American adults have a high prevalence of Type 2 diabetes with early onset of diabetes complications. Poor dietary behavior is the primary cause of Type 2 diabetes and its complications, changing dietary behaviors can prevent the onset of diabetes complications or impede existing ones. The purpose of this phenomenological study was to explore patients' perceptions of diet-only therapy in the prevention of diabetes complications. Face-to-face interviews were conducted with six African American adults with Type 2 diabetes between 40 to 64 years using purposeful sampling method. Health belief model formed the conceptual framework of the study. I applied inductive coding process and manually analyze data for themes. Participants expressed fear of diabetes complications, acknowledged effectiveness of dietary therapy, physician communication and strong family support in Type 2 diabetes management. Findings can produce positive social change among African American adults with type 2 diabetes. Patients can be motivated to change their dietary behaviors to prevent disability and death from diabetes complications. Adherence to diet can reduce medical costs associated with Type 2 diabetes and its complications at the individual, family, community, and government levels. Health care providers can apply the findings in their interactions with patients to provide a more patient-centered education that integrates patients' cultural and dietary preferences to facilitate adoption of dietary interventions and long-term adherence.