Nursing & Care


Review of African American Women Diabetic Self-Care: A Meta-Analytic Perspective

Doris Clark PhD, RN, CNE

The studies were based on the greater prevalence of Diabetes in the African American women population. The goal of the studies was to identify barriers that prevent African American (AA) women’s self-care. The barriers identified increased the risk of diabetic complications. Due to the abstractness of the barriers, health care providers tended not to include them in the interventions when AA women sought help. Quantitative and qualitative methodologies were used to interview AA women in different settings such as churches and community centers. The metaanalytic review revealed that AA women are a high-risk population for Type 2 Diabetes and even greater for the complications that accompany this chronic disease. AA women most at risk were AA women who are caregivers for elderly parents, grandchildren whose parents were unable to care for them, and those with adult children still living at home. Psychosocial internal factors such as lack of social support and transportation also influenced their ability to self-manage their health care.

The AA woman may also have physical and psychological comorbidities such as hypertension and depression that influence their self-care abilities. When with their counterparts, Caucasian women, and adjusting for certain areas in their lives such as socioeconomic status, it was found that the risk remained high, and AA women could not adjust or change their lifestyles to manage their Diabetes. Interventions were introduced to help AA women overcome these lifestyle factors. The studies revealed that focus and support groups were helpful in increasing selfmanagement, and self-care education did increase the ability to control the psychosocial factors and self-manage their diabetes. However, the results show that the goal of self-care was not totally achieved or sustained.