Falling into a deep dark hole: Tongan people’s perceptions of being at risk of developing type 2 diabetes
journal contributionposted on 30.11.2020, 05:55 by J Faletau, V Nosa, Rosie Dobson, M Heather, J McCool
© 2020 The Authors Health Expectations published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd Background: Prediabetes is a precursor for type 2 diabetes. Compared to the New Zealand/European and other population groups (24.6%), the prevalence of prediabetes is higher within Pacific groups (29.8%). The diagnosis of prediabetes presents a potential opportunity to intervene to prevent progression to type 2 diabetes. Objective: To develop an understanding of how being ‘at risk’ of developing type 2 diabetes is perceived by Tongan people with prediabetes living in Auckland, New Zealand. Methods: The Kakala and Talanga Tongan methodologies underpinned this study. Twelve one-on-one, semi-structured interviews with Tongan patients who had prediabetes from a primary health-care clinic in Auckland, New Zealand, were conducted. Thematic analysis was used to identify recurrent themes from the data. Results: Participants were not aware of their prediabetes diagnosis, emotions associated with the diagnosis reflected fear and disbelief and a perception of imminent danger. Family history informed perceptions of the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Participants could not differentiate prediabetes from type 2 diabetes, and recollections of being ‘back in the Islands’ of Tonga were consistent with healthy lifestyles. Conclusions: Prediabetes appeared to be poorly understood and was believed to be irreversible, which could discourage behaviour change, social and physical improvements in health. Appropriate culturally tailored messages to accompany a prediabetes diagnosis, including cause and management, would be beneficial for Pacific peoples.
This research was funded by the Health Research Council of New Zealand Pacific PhD Scholarship.
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Science & TechnologyLife Sciences & BiomedicineHealth Care Sciences & ServicesHealth Policy & ServicesPublic, Environmental & Occupational HealthPacific Islandprediabetesrisk perceptionTongaType 2 DiabetesIMPAIRED GLUCOSE-TOLERANCELIFE-STYLE INTERVENTIONNEW-ZEALANDDIAGNOSISAWARENESSEDUCATIONPATIENTPublic Health