The rising incidence of diabetes complications among African Americans is a major health concern. Few studies have addressed gender differences in diabetes self-management in this population. The purpose of this study was to determine whether gender differences in facilitators and barriers to self-management exist among African American adults with type 2 diabetes. Thirty-eight participants were recruited from community agencies and each participated in one of seven audio-recorded focus group sessions. Regular health care visits, positive outlook, prioritization of health, and independence facilitated self-management behaviors in men, whereas acceptance of diabetes was a facilitator for women. Lack of time at work, lack of family support, and lack of knowledge were barriers for men, whereas lack of finances, embarrassment, negative outlook, perceived lack of disease control, and adverse effects of medications were barriers for women. Further research is necessary to design and test gender-specific tailored interventions to improve diabetes self-management in this population.
- African Americans
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