Cultural perceptions of American Indian women in Southcentral Montana regarding pre-diabetic education

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Montana State University - Bozeman, College of Nursing


Treatment of prediabetes includes education which provides the prediabetic person with information to help them make lifestyle modification choices regarding their nutrition, exercise and weight control; in order that they control their illness and delay or prevent the development of diabetes. American Indians have a high incidence of both prediabetes and diabetes as a group compared to other ethnic groups in the U.S. There is a lack of data in the literature about what American Indians from the Crow Tribe in Montana consider to be cultural information that they feel should be included in education for pre-diabetics. This qualitative ethno-nursing study was conducted through one-on-one interviews with six American Indian women of the Crow Tribe over a period of months to determine what they defined as culturally important for the health care provider to know when teaching about prediabetes. The data from these interviews were then analyzed using qualitative software by Ethnograph ®, and four primary themes were found. These themes were: extended family and elders, spirituality and traditions, culturally specific foods and activities and a feeling of inevitability of developing diabetes. As cultural competency is an area that is included in all schools of nursing and some schools of medicine, it is important that health care providers have an awareness of cultural specific health information. All the informants in this study reported that they felt more respected when their health care provider brought up the topic of how their culture affects their health habits, as well as how important to them it is that the health care provider be open to learning about the specifics of their culture.




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