Black Men's Perceptions and Knowledge of Diabetes: A Church-Affiliated Barbershop Focus Group Study

Joyce Balls-Berry, Christopher Watson, Sandeep Kadimpati, Andre Crockett, Essa A. Mohamed, Italo Brown, Miguel Valdez Soto, Becky Sanford, Michele Halyard, Jagdish Khubchandani, Lea Dacy, Olga Idriss Davis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States and disproportionately affects racial and ethnic minorities. These disparities persist despite educational efforts to reduce the prevalence of diabetes. Receptiveness of educational efforts for Black men needs to be studied.

OBJECTIVE: This study assesses Black men's receptiveness to a barbershop-based program focused on diabetes prevention and awareness in a church-affiliated barbershop in Rochester, Minnesota.

METHODS: The pastor and barber of a church-affiliated barbershop and academic medical researchers designed a community-engaged research study to determine Black men's perception of diabetes. Recruitment for the 90-minute focus group included flyers (n=60), email, and in-person. Units of analysis included focus-group audio recording, transcripts, and field notes. Using traditional content analysis, we categorized data into themes and sub-themes.

RESULTS: Thirteen Black men participated (Group 1, n=6; Group 2, n=7) having a mean age of 40.3 years (range 19 to 65), and employed full-time (77%). Themes included diabetes prevention, treatment, prevalence, risks, and health education. Participants identified diet and exercise as essential components of diabetes prevention. Additionally, participants mentioned that family history contributes to diabetes. Participants agreed that barbershops are an appropriate setting for data collection and health education on diabetes for Black men.

DISCUSSION/CONCLUSION: Findings indicate that Black men are generally aware of diabetes. The community-engaged research process allowed for development of a culturally appropriate research study on diabetes. This study is the foundation for developing a culturally appropriate health education program on diabetes for Black men.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)465-472
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2015


  • Barbershop
  • Black Men
  • Church
  • Diabetes
  • Focus Group

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Anthropology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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