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Health Services


Jeanne Connors


Nondiabetic immigrants from Cameroon who migrate to Minnesota lack knowledge of risk factors associated with type 2 diabetes and face challenges accessing health care services. Nondiabetic immigrants from Cameroon lack culturally appropriate health care services and therefore find it difficult to follow providers' recommendations. This phenomenological study explored the perceptions and experiences of nondiabetic immigrants from Cameroon regarding access to affordable, quality health care services as well as their behaviors, beliefs, and knowledge of type 2 diabetes self-management. Bronfenbrenner's social ecological model provided the theoretical framework. Research questions addressed access to affordable health care services, knowledge, and perception of type 2 diabetes, dietary and activity behaviors, and awareness of diabetes self-management. A purposive sample of 13 nondiabetic Cameroonian immigrants participated in the study. Data were collected through in-depth personal interviews. Interviews were hand-coded, and NVivo was used to identify emerging themes. A key finding for this study is that participants leave their appointments without adequate information and continue living in poor health because they lack understanding of medical recommendations. The participants expressed concerns that their health care providers did not address their psychosocial needs in conjunction with physical needs. They also expressed interest in learning about healthy eating. Participants prefer to learn how to count carbohydrates and nutritional values of traditional food to help manage portion size. The social change implications indicate further training for health care professionals in physical and emotional needs of immigrant population from Cameroon.