Knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs of Whitefish Bay residents regarding type 2 diabetes / by Ella Goodman.
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The purpose of this study was to explore Whitefish Bay residents’ knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs of Type 2 diabetes. The objectives were to examine current literature related to Type 2 diabetes with an emphasis on the Aboriginal population; distribute a questionnaire to assess knowledge, attitudes and beliefs, to assess Whitefish Bay residents for the risk of Type 2 diabetes; and make recommendations regarding prevention of Type 2 diabetes for Whitefish Bay residents. A questionnaire was developed by the researcher to obtain basic information from residents on demographics, beliefs surrounding the meaning of diabetes, knowledge of specific risk factors, knowledge of signs and symptoms and complications, and attitudes toward prevention of diabetes. For feasibility, the questionnaire utilized closed-ended questions to address the questions posed. Data were collected from a cohort of 175 Whitefish Bay residents over the age of 18. This sample size reflected approximately 55% of the total eligible population. Questionnaire data demonstrated that fifty-five (55%) had knowledge of a general definition of Type 2 diabetes. Areas of potential education were noted in identification of risk factors, signs and symptoms, and complications. Certain groups appear to be more at risk, such as males, those less educated, unemployed, individuals with no family history of diabetes, and those who have never been screened before. The previous groups appear more at risk due to a lower level of knowledge in variables such as risk factors, signs and symptoms, and complications. The current prevalence of diabetes was determined to be 11%, and a further 13% of those screened by Naotkamegwanning Health Services had impaired glucose tolerance on casual testing. Recommendations included strategies such as developing culturally appropriate educational materials to increase awareness to improve prevention and early detection. Populations within Whitefish Bay who are at greater risk should be targeted with health promotion campaigns to increase primary and secondary prevention. These could include educational programs to be delivered in public schools and at community events. Screening for Type 2 diabetes should continue in order to educate those with impaired glucose tolerance or impaired fasting glucose on the importance of lifestyle modifications. Due to the environmental contributions related to Type 2 diabetes, partnerships with both the private and public sector to increase collaboration in the fight against Type 2 diabetes would enhance preventative messages and community acceptance. For collaboration to be effective, funding for health care professionals to provide health promotion and prevention must increase. Further, the skills of health care professionals must improve to provide culturally appropriate care targeted at primary, secondary and tertiary prevention of Type 2 diabetes. Finally, research needs to be completed to determine what barriers Whitefish Bay residents are enduring that inhibit healthy lifestyles. Future research that is conducted should distinguish between diabetics and nondiabetics in order to develop appropriate prevention programs based on their cohort’s knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs. This research can be utilized to create more effective health strategies. Research of this nature should also be completed in other communities due to individual community characteristics that can contribute to differences knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs with regard to Type 2 diabetes.