Facilitators and barriers to self-management of type 2 diabetes among urban African American adults: Focus group findings

Orr Diane Chlebowy, Sula Hood, A. Scott LaJoie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Scopus citations


Purpose The purpose of this study was to identify facilitators and barriers to self-management of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) among urban African American adults. Methods Thirty-eight African American adults with T2DM were recruited from 1 of 3 health care agencies in a midsized city in the southeastern United States. Qualitative data were obtained using focus groups, wherein each participant engaged in a 60- to 90-minute audio-recorded session. Focus group data were transcribed and analyzed using Atlas ti 6® data analysis software. Demographic and medical history information was also collected. Results Factors relating to external locus of control primarily facilitated adherence to T2DM self-management behaviors. Support from family, peers, and health care providers positively influenced adherence behaviors by providing cues to action, direct assistance, reinforcement, and knowledge. Internal factors were primarily described as barriers to self-management behaviors and included fears associated with glucose monitoring, lack of self-control over dietary habits, memory failure, and perceived lack of personal control over diabetes. Conclusions African Americans perceived external factors as facilitators of their T2DM management behaviors and internal factors as barriers to self-management. Further research is necessary to design and test interventions that capitalize on the external facilitators while helping African Americans to overcome perceived barriers identified in this study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)897-905
Number of pages9
JournalDiabetes Educator
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2010
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Health Professions (miscellaneous)

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