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Community-based diabetes nutrition education programme for Emirati adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus – barriers to participation

Habiba I Ali, Carine Platat, Latifa M Baynouna, Hanan Abd Abd El Baki
Published in : HAMDAN MEDICAL JOURNAL ; Vol 8, No 2 (2015)
DOI : 10.7707/hmj.378


Participation in type 2 diabetes mellitus self-management education (DSME) is crucial for individuals with type 2 diabetes mellitus in order to develop and maintain behaviours that prevent or delay the complications of type 2 diabetes mellitus. Despite the high prevalence of type 2 diabetes mellitus in the United Arab Emirates, studies investigating barriers to participation in lifestyle educational programmes are lacking. The purpose of this study was to examine barriers to patients’ regular participation in the ‘Skills for Change’ Diabetes Nutrition Education Program. In this cross-sectional descriptive study, 109 Emirati adults (mean age: 53.7±8.76 years) who participated in the ‘Skills for Change’ Diabetes Nutrition Education Program between November 2011 and March 2013 were interviewed. Survey participants were recruited from the three intervention health centres in Al Ain where the ‘Skills for Change’ programme was implemented. The survey questionnaire was developed by the research team from the existing literature on barriers to type 2 diabetes mellitus education services and was pre-tested before use. Time constraints caused by other commitments, transportation issues and moving out of the health centre area were the three main reasons mentioned by the survey participants as barriers to regular participation in the ‘Skills for Change’ programme. Not being responsible for cooking food at home (59.6%), not easy to change diet because of family preferences (50.5%) and social gatherings (42.9%) were the major barriers to making the recommended dietary changes. The primary reason for lack of participation in the group physical activities was changing to another health centre (42.1%). On the other hand, only 10.5% of the respondents felt that the health care team did not spend enough time explaining the recommendations, and only 13.3% felt that the exercise was too difficult to perform. The majority of the respondents considered the availability of dietitians (88.6%) and exercise facilities (81%) in the health centres to be very important or important. The findings of this study can be useful for the development of future community-based education programmes for Emirati adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus.

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