Diabetes Knowledge, Attitudes and Behaviors Among Somali and Latino Immigrants

Jane W. Njeru, Christine M. Formea, Ahmed Osman, Miriam Goodson, Abdullah Hared, Graciela Porraz Capetillo, Julie A. Nigon, Stephen S. Cha, Jennifer A. Weis, Marcelo M.K. Hanza, Christi A. Patten, Irene G. Sia, Mark L. Wieland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Persons from Somalia constitute the largest group of immigrants and refugees from Africa among whom diabetes-related health disparities are well documented. As one of the first steps toward developing a behavioral intervention to address diabetes among Somali immigrants and refugees, we administered a face to face interview-based survey to Somali and Latino adults with diabetes in a single community to assess diabetes knowledge, attitudes and behaviors. Respondents (N = 78) reported several barriers to optimal diabetes management for physical activity and glucose self-monitoring, as well as a high burden of disease and negative perceptions of diabetes. High participant engagement in disease management, self-efficacy, and social support were important assets. Similarities suggest that the shared experiences of immigration and related systemic socioeconomic and linguistic factors play a significant role in the understanding and self-management of diabetes in these populations. Together with previously collected qualitative work, the survey findings will inform development of a behavioral intervention to improve outcomes and reduce diabetes-related health disparities among immigrant and refugee groups to the U.S.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1432-1440
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Immigrant and Minority Health
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016


  • Community based participatory research
  • Diabetes
  • Immigrant health
  • Somali

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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