Living with Diabetes: Experiences from Jamaican Diabetes Clinics in Kingston and Morant Bay

Mary Ross Ross, Walden University


Living with Diabetes: Experiences from Jamaican Diabetes Clinics

in Kingston and Morant Bay


Mary Morrissey-Ross

MSN, Yale University, 1984

BS, Fairfield University, 1978

Dissertation Submitted in Partial Fulfillment

of the Requirements for the Degree of

Doctor of Philosophy

Public Health

Walden University

November 2016

Diabetes (DM) is a growing pandemic that threatens the health and economic well-being of nations, especially low- and middle-income nations such as Jamaica. Suffering a shortage of health care personnel and a debt at 126% of its gross domestic product, Jamaica is limited in its ability to assist diabetics managing the disease, covering only 50% of the costs of care. Knowing more about how Jamaican diabetics are managing their disease will assist health care providers focus their care and partner with patients for improved outcomes. This study addressed how Jamaican diabetics accessed care and medicines, the psychosocial and economic impact of living with type 2 DM, health beliefs of diabetics, and differences between male and female diabetics. The health belief model was used to frame this hermeneutic phenomenological study to explore the perspectives of 41 adult type 2 diabetics in Kingston and Morant Bay, Jamaica. Data from in-depth interviews were coded and analyzed for themes. Findings indicated most participants had inadequate funds to buy essential uncovered items. Almost all were committed to taking their medications and keeping medical appointments. Some reported use of natural remedies in addition to prescribed medications. Both male and female participants indicated men were less likely to seek medical care than women. Concerns about diabetes were mitigated by family support and faith in God in almost every case. The findings, shared with the Ministry of Health and the Diabetes Association of Jamaica, will increase understanding of the effectiveness of current health messaging and help refine future public health communications aimed to decrease the incidence of diabetes, encourage screenings for early detection and prevent secondary complications.  

Living with Diabetes: Experiences from Jamaican Diabetes Clinics