Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Exploring the understanding of pre-diabetes and the possibility of developing diabetes among Mexican Americans at the U.S.-Mexico border
by Valenzuela, Rodolfo, Ph.D., The University of Arizona, 2010, 140; 3408447
Abstract (Summary)

The purpose of this ethnographic study was to explore the understanding of pre-diabetes and the possibility of developing diabetes among Mexican Americans at the U.S.-Mexico border. This study also explored how Mexican Americans adjust to living with pre-diabetes. While extensive research has been conducted regarding pre-diabetes, diabetes, and how individuals perceive their susceptibility to these illnesses, few studies have examined how Mexican Americans understand pre-diabetes and the possibility of developing diabetes. The increased prevalence of diabetes among this population, the divergent understandings of risk held by diverse cultural groups, and the large presence of Mexican Americans in the U.S.-Mexico border region prompted this study.

There are gaps in the literature about how Mexican Americans understand pre-diabetes and their possibility of developing diabetes. Current literature focuses on studies of causality, folk beliefs, symptoms, and treatments. Current studies do not provide a framework in which healthcare professionals can identify how Mexican Americans understand pre-diabetes and the possibility for developing diabetes or how to incorporate these lay understandings into their practice, research, and education.

An ethnographic study, guided by Freire’s framework (2000) was conducted to provide insight into the understanding of pre-diabetes and the possibility of developing diabetes among Mexican Americans living at the U.S.-Mexico border. An overarching theme Living with Pre-diabetes emerged. This theme emerged from two major themes: (1) Awareness; and (2) Adjusting to Living with Pre-diabetes .

This study revealed that Mexican Americans may not understand pre-diabetes or their possibility of developing diabetes until told of having pre-diabetes by a healthcare provider. Becoming aware of pre-diabetes may not necessarily imply understanding of what pre-diabetes is. The study also revealed that an awareness of having pre-diabetes may lead to changes in lifestyle, but may not always make these changes sustainable. The use of Freire’s framework may prove useful when addressing the needs of Mexican Americans with pre-diabetes.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: McEwen, Marylyn M., Boyle, Joyceen
Commitee: Badger, Terry, McGuire, Sharon
School: The University of Arizona
Department: Nursing
School Location: United States -- Arizona
Source: DAI-B 71/07, Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Nursing, Public health, Hispanic American studies
Keywords: Diabetes, Mexican Americans, Prediabetes, U.S.-Mexico border
Publication Number: 3408447
ISBN: 978-1-124-04632-7
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