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Diabetes Management in Resource Poor Countries

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DOI: 10.4236/jdm.2019.91003    388 Downloads   866 Views


The aim of this study was to evaluate the diabetes status and health beliefs of individuals living in villages in Northeast Guatemala. Our study explored current understanding of diabetes in the Peten region of Guatemala concerning the cause, treatment, and effect of type two diabetes by engaging and interviewing 21 diabetic patients in a qualitative study. Interview results showed that among study participants, the cause of diabetes was often “unknown”. With an average of 3.5 years of education among survey participants and many reporting being mostly or fully illiterate, it is likely that health education status plays a major role in their concept of diabetes. The majority of responses claimed some form of “asusto”—defined as a negative emotional event causing physical maladies—to have caused their diabetes. Patient surveys revealed that Gods and prayer ranked the highest among factors controlling their diabetes, with medications being seen as a tertiary control factor, as seen in Figure 1. Only two study participants (2/21) ranked diet/exercise as more impactful on their diabetes than gods/prayer. Survey responses also show that most individuals agree that taking their medications is important, with the most common reported barriers to control of their blood sugar being cost of medications and lifestyle barriers. Altogether, lack of education and resource availability appears to be the most heavily implicated reasons why uncontrolled diabetes is on the rise in Guatemala—it is clear that health education needs to be a major part of therapeutic efforts in this region.

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G. Stratton, A. , D. Matus, C. and Sweitzer, K. (2019) Diabetes Management in Resource Poor Countries. Journal of Diabetes Mellitus, 9, 24-30. doi: 10.4236/jdm.2019.91003.

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