Exploring health perceptions and diabetes self care in Iu Mien older adults

Asian Americans are at increased risk for diabetes and poor health outcomes compared to the general population. Although the Asian American population is increasing four times faster than the general population, diabetes research remains limited. Diabetes research in Asian populations address the more populous groups such as Chinese, Japanese, and South Asians; the less known ethnic groups of Southeast Asians are often overlooked or clumped together despite differences in health beliefs, health literacy, and access to healthcare. The aim of this study is to describe the diabetes self care behaviors and health perception of Iu Mien older adults. A descriptive research methodology using qualitative content analysis was used to describe and categorize data from n=5 participants. Findings revealed themes of cultural barriers in the form of language, knowledge gaps, and attitudes towards Western medicine influence Iu Mien experiences with diabetes and the healthcare system. Family support was found to be a critical component of diabetes management. These findings increase the understanding of effective diabetes management in this population.