Culturally Tailored Diabetes Education for Chinese Patients: A Qualitative Case Study

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Purpose: To explore the range of teaching approaches and cultural-tailoring elements used in diabetes educations directed at Chinese patients and to determine the strategies that appeared to best address Chinese patients’ needs. Design: A case study approach in three countries was employed, using multiple ethnographic data collection methods including participant observations and qualitative interviews. Findings: Data were collected from 39 participant observations and 22 interviews across seven cases. Collective didactic education was most common. Individual clarification at the end of an education session was used to allow patients to derive their own management plan. Clinicians mainly provided information and used knowledge reinforcement to facilitate behavioral change. Participatory diabetes education models borrowed from the West did not translate well culturally and did not appear to meet Chinese patients’ needs. Conclusion and Practical Implications: Diabetes education for the Chinese may be enhanced by building on traditional Confucian education strategies.

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