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Experiences of self-management support from GPs among Australian ethnically diverse diabetes patients: A qualitative study

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Ethnically diverse diabetes patients face significant challenges in diabetes self-management ranging from cultural expectations to inequalities in health care provision. This study explored the experiences of ethnically diverse patients with diabetes attending group diabetes education in receiving self-management support from GPs. An approach based on phenomenology was used to analyse participants’ experiences in self-management support across three group interviews comprising 28 Australian ethnically diverse diabetes patients: Arabic-speaking group (n = 11), English-speaking group (n = 9) and Vietnamese-speaking group (n = 8). Two themes emerged related to the poor quality of information to support self-management and challenges in negotiating traditional consultation styles. In particular, participants believed they knew more about diabetes self-management than their GPs but felt unable to influence consultation style and communicate their changing needs in self-management support. The health care and information needs of ethnically diverse patients continue to be marginalised within health systems. This small exploratory study highlights the need for further research to illuminate interactions between ethnically diverse diabetes patients and GPs in supporting long-term diabetes self-management.
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Keywords: diabetes; ethnicity; general practice; self-management; shared decision-making

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Faculty of Medicine, Centre for Primary Health Care and Equity, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia

Publication date: January 2, 2015

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