Detection, management and impact of diabetes among the Lebanese Community of Sydney: A qualitative study
Mustapha W, Hossain SZ* and O’Loughlin K
Discipline of Behavioural and Social Sciences in Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Sydney, Australia
- *Corresponding Author:
- Dr. Hossain SZ
Discipline of Behavioural and Social Sciences in Health
Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Sydney
Cumberland Campus, T Block , Room T310
75 East St, Lidcombe, NSW 2141, Australia
Received date: June 04, 2012; Accepted date: July 10, 2012; Published date: July 12, 2012
Citation: Mustapha W, Hossain SZ, O’Loughlin K (2012) Detection, management and impact of diabetes among the Lebanese Community of Sydney: A qualitative study. J Community Med Health Educ 2:160 doi: 10.4172/2161-0711.1000160
Copyright: © 2012 Mustapha W, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited
Background: Diabetes is a serious global health issue which is known to be more prevalent among certain cultural and ethnic groups. While genetics may be a contributing factor, the higher incidence or difficulties in managing the disease may be attributable to cultural habits over generations. Studies have found the prevalence of diabetes among the Middle Eastern community is unusually high; however there is lack of information on prevalence of diabetes among Lebanese community in Australia. The aim of this study is to explore this group’s experience of diabetes.
Methods: A qualitative study with in-depth interviews was conducted on Lebanese migrants living in Sydney metropolitan area (SMA) who had been diagnosed with diabetes mellitus at least six months prior to the study. Participants were purposively selected from SMA surgeries serving the primary Lebanese residential communities.
Results: The findings show that lack of communication and education due to the language barrier combined with cultural differences create a difficult environment in which to treat diabetes among this ethnic minority group. It appears that the time taken by doctors and dieticians to explain the causes and effects of the disease to their patients is insufficient, that their understanding of the social and dietary customs of the community is inadequate, the usability of current treatment options is thus limited for this group, and that more appropriate treatment should be given.
Conclusion: Information on diabetes needs to be available to patients and family members in a language they understand and must extend to disease management and control in the context of their daily lives. Only when doctors, educators and public health servants diagnose, treat and teach about the disease in a social and cultural context that is relevant to their specific target group can they work in conjunction with their patients to achieve effective management and control of diabetes.